The Durbanville Hills Winery is in the small Durbanville Wine Appellation in a small valley running West to overlook Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean with its cold Benguela Current running North.
Founding Cellarmaster Martin Moore wrote to me recently in which he talked about light wines and “Although growing, the choice is limited and therefore we decided that producing a low alcohol wine that does not compromise on taste or quality was the only option for us.” He continues, “We certainly didn’t want to release wines that would be reviewed as “fair and passable.” So, they researched various different methods of dealcoholisation. They use the same methods for their full alcohol wines with no short cuts and no additional technology.
Here we have a wine which is only 9% by volume in alcohol, and about 30% lower in calories. The grapes were harvested early, showing flavour but low in sugar. The grapes came from two Chenin Blanc blocks, one on a westerly slope with open views of the West Coast, the remainder from a block on the valley floor on the westerly side of the valley.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is the traditional Durbanville Hills Lozenge shape. In the glass, a brightshining jewel clear hay colour with green flashes. The aromas are of sliced fresh ripe pear, tropical fruits, desiccated pineapple and white flowers. The palate is crisp and refreshing, finely balanced, showing rich and generous fresh fruited palate.
The Durbanville Hills Chenin Blanc Light 2021 is a perfect sipping wine, though will go well with food of the summery salady kind.
The grapes for this wine were selected from a 20-year-old north-facing vineyard on the open western side of the valley with clear line of sight to the West Coast. The loamy soil is of medium potential on weathered shale to prevent the vigorous growth typical of Shiraz. Selected leaf removal was done by hand to allow for sunlight penetration ensuring good fruit and colour.
The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness to ensure that all the fruit flavours were fully developed. The wine went through normal fermentation with the exception of an early addition of mannoprotein to boost the mouthfeel. The alcohol was lowered for a small portion of the wine and blended back with the base wine for the desired alcohol strength.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is the classical lozenge shape used for their wines. In the glass, the colour is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to a purple ruby at the edges. The aromas are fruit forward, black berries and cherries, spice and vanilla. Served lightly chilled for extra enjoyment.
The Durbanville Hills Shiraz Light 2021, served chilled is an excellent sipping wine. Good with chicken and duck and a tranche of Dalewood Fromage Huguenot.
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