Delaire Graff Wine Estate is on the link between Botmaskop and Simonsberg in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. The Estate overlooks both Stellenbosch and the Banghoek Valley where the almost Alpine Mountains create a cooler climate in the shadow of the Simonsberg. Morné Vrey is the much-awarded Winemaker who is able to use wine grapes from different appellations to create wines for the Estate.
The vintage was the final one before the relief of the great drought in the Winter of 2018. Yields were small, though the grapes were packed with colour and flavour. Picked before dawn from the Estate’s oldest vineyard, the blend was made up of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot & 3% Malbec. Once in the cellar, the grapes were de-stemmed only, not crushed, to ensure gentle extraction of fruit flavours. Whole berry fermentation and gentle punch downs ensured good extraction of colours, flavours and soft tannins. After basket pressing, the wine matured in 50% new French oak barrels for 16 months, where malolactic fermentation took place. The wines were then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is in black and very elegant. In the glass, the wine is a deep opaque plum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are of blackcurrant, as one would expect with the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, and fennel seeds and oak with its concomitant brown spices and vanilla. The palate from entry is rich and generous, full on dark fruit. A lovely balance between fruit, a raspberry acidity and well-integrated tannins. Long and satisfying aftertaste.
While you will find some excellent matches on the Estate’s two fine restaurants, we can’t all get there, so I will suggest you serve the wine with Hein van Tonder’s Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Roasted Onions and Chimichurri. Click HERE for Hein’s recipe.
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