Jeremy Walker of Grangehurst in the foothills of the Helderberg in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation is known for producing wines of great stature and opulence. With the Grangehurst 350 Pinotage 2009, my Advent Calendar #21 wine, he pays homage to the 350th anniversary of the making of the first wine in the Cape by Commander Jan van Riebeek.
The bush vines from which the grapes are harvested is a vineyard planted in sandy loam soils in 1994. The vineyard is fortunate to benefit from cooling breezes from False Bay in the south. Longer ripening is the result which is of great benefit to the flavour component in the wine. The grapes were hand harvested on 2nd February 2009, to the day, 350 years since the first grapes were harvested here in the Cape.
Once taken to the cellar, the grapes Pinotage 88% and Cabernet Sauvignon 12%, were destalked and crushed and the mash was fermented in an open fermenter for 6 days. Gentle punch downs took place 4 to 6 times per day to extract colours, flavours and tannins. The free run wine was then taken to a tank and the basket press wine was blended with it. Time then to go to 10 French oak Barrels for 35 months for malolactic fermentation and maturation. During this time, the wine was clarified by racking only and did not involve the use of any fining agents, centrifuges or filters – a natural, unhurried method of clarifying wine.
The wine was bottled by a gentle gravity flow filling system from tanks on high and passed through a cartridge filter. The only time any filtration took place.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle with a natural cork closure and elegant label. In the glass, it is a deep ruby plum colour which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. The whiffs are everything you expect from a classy Pinotage, roadside brambles, mulberries, sweet fruited plums. Vanilla, oak and its concomitant spices, make for an appealing nose. From entry, the wine fills the mouth with bright fruit and cashmere clad tannins. The whole is beautifully interwoven in the satisfying, lasting and gently waning aftertaste.
This is a superb food wine, and being South African, it likes our spicy dishes like Bobotie and Sosaties. These and perhaps some excellent braaied sausage would make the perfect Christmas lunch if you are going the Braai and Salad Route.
Read more about Grangehurst Wines – CLICK HERE