It is about now that the wines from the last vintage before the drought, the worst in living memory broke. Faced with the severity of the drought, the challenging conditions of the 2018 harvest resulted in one of the smallest yields in years. With a cooler ripening and smaller crops, the bunches produced smaller berries with concentrated flavour and intense colour providing wines of notable quality.
Picked in the early hours before the Summer heat rose in the vineyard, the grapes came from the Delaire Graff Estate’s mountain vineyards in the Banghoek Wine Appellation. All bunches were extensively hand sorted before harvesting, once destalked, the grapes were sorted by hand and only the finest went through for whole berry fermentation. Gentle extraction of the flavours, colours and soft tannins in the fermentation process and soft pressed in a traditional basket press, the wine was taken to French Oak barrels, of which 80% were new. The maturation process took 18 months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
I have not had the pleasure of tasting this wine. In his tasting notes, the Delaire Graff Winemaker Morné Vrey says “Velvet textured, complex and powerful. Cassis, dark fruit and spicy flavours dominate in a layered and lingering delivery. The wine is suited for ageing for 6 to 10 years.
As to perfect pairing dishes, do visit the Delaire Graff Website and have a trawl through the menus of the two award winning restaurants on the Estate to give you some ideas about dishes to pair with the Delaire Graff Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2018.
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Information from Delaire Graff Wine Estate