Rural legend has it that Banghoek was given its name as horsemen in the early days did not like riding over it from Stellenbosch down to Pniel and beyond for fear of encountering the dreaded Cape Lion, or in the case of the Protestant ministers, perhaps the devil himself.
Banghoek sits atop the valley which goes down to Groot Drakenstein. It is the cooler side of the Simonsberg, facing east and it loses the sun earlier in the afternoons.
There were tough times in the 2016 vintage, at the height of the worst drought in the Cape in living memory. The crop size was much reduced, the vines produced smaller bunches and smaller berries, which means a higher ratio of skin to juice, greater colour and greater flavour. The quality of the grapes was excellent, and they were in good health.
The grapes for the Delaire Graff Estate The Banghoek 2016, hand harvested in the cool of the early morning, made up the final blend of 53% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec.
Once in the cellar, Morné Vrey, the Estates Award winning winemaker and his team destalked the grapes and then a careful hand sorting of the grapes took place to ensure that only the finest went through for the individual wine making processes. Whole berry fermentation took place, this ensures excellent extraction of flavours and tannins. 60% of the French oak barrels used in maturation, with the balance made up of previously filled barrels. The final wines were blended after oak maturation and prepared for bottling.
The wine is in a Bordeaux shaped bottle as is appropriate for a fine blend of Bordeaux grapes of origin. The livery is classic Graff design, label and foil in dark blue, very regal, very elegant. It comes in a bespoke container. In the glass, it is a deep opaque bloodplum which pales to ruby purple at the edges. Th aromas are of Parma violets, oak and its concomitant spices and red and black berries. The palate is full and generous. A golden thread of fine fruit acidity runs from entry to the long aftertaste. Red and blackberries like mulberries and roadside brambles abound. The tannins a firm and supported by the oak and its concomitant spices, the ending is very satisfying. A truly impressive glass and perhaps infanticide to drink it now. Cool cellar it for another 3 to 5 years for greater reward.
The Delaire Graff Estate The Banghoek 2016 is a wine whose name reflects it origin. You would do well to chill if slightly before serving. While it certainly won’t mess up your hamburger supper, it really needs to be honoured by a well-prepared traditional Sunday Roast with crispy rustly roast potatoes and an ample jug of real gravy. Other dishes which come to mind are a good meat loaf, a lusty fully flavoured vegetarian or vegan dish of aubergines, sun dried tomatoes and portobello mushrooms. Do not use Parmiggiana Reggiano as the rennet used in the production of this DOC Cheese is of animal origin. Nina Timm’s Roast Leg of Lamb on the Weber is an ideal partner for this magnificent wine. Click HERE for her recipe.
Nina Timm of https://www.my-easy-cooking.com
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