Durbanville Hills Winery is situated in a little valley in the small Durbanville Wine Appellation. The winery is on a prominence overlooking Table Mountain, Table Bay and Robben Island. The Benguela Current which runs up our West Coast from the deep cold South Atlantic plays an important part in the climate of this little valley. Cooling the vineyards in the middle of Summer and allowing longer hanging time for ripening. The vineyard from whence cometh the Pinotage grapes for this wine is a single 17-year-old block. There are small areas in this block which produce truly fine grapes, best reflecting the characteristics of this home grown South African grape. Running up to harvest, the important tests are whether both skins and seed are ripe, the key to a great Pinotage.
On ripeness the grapes were picked into 500kg fruit bins. There was minimal intervention, just destemming and then sorting of the berries on a table and then into fermenters. Interesting note here. The must was settled out overnight and then between 10% and 15% of the juice was drained off. This meant a higher skin to juice ratio which concentrates the body, aromas and flavours of the final product. After fermentation, during which pump overs took place for careful extraction of flavour, tannins and more.
The wine was then matured in a combination new and second fill, tight grained medium toasted French oak barrels for 14 months.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle closed with natural cork. The label has an illustration of the Sea Point Promenade by renowned Cape Town Artist, Theo Vorster. In the glass, the wine is a dark bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby red at the edges. Aromas are classical Pinotage, fresh plums, red berry fruits, whiffs of oak and its spice and vanilla, and an undertow of dark chocolate. The palate is rich and generous. Lovely raspberry acidity and chunky tannins on entry. Plums, soft dried prunes and Morello Cherries are found in the long aftertaste. Wilhelm Coetzee, Durbanville Hills Red Wine Specialist and his team have created a fine wine here. Ready for drinking now, though will reward you after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The Durbanville Hills Collector’s Reserve The Promenade Pinotage 2016, is perfect as a glass on its own. Though it is with food that it really shines. And spicy South African food is de rigueur for this spicy South African Wine. Dianne Bibby’s Red Wine Lamb Shanks is a great match as the cooler evening set in. Click HERE for her recipe.
Listen to my podcast about the wine, first aired on Fine Music Radio, – CLICK HERE
Read more about Durbanville Hills, its wines and hospitality offerings – CLICK HERE