KWV 15 year old Brandy – 02.07.2016

KWV-1024x724La Concorde, KWV Headquarters in Paarl

KWV, that producer of fine award winning wines and spirits, has been situated in Paarl ever since it was founded in 1918.  So the centenary is coming up soon.

The brandies are made within the rules laid down by the industry, and in KWVs case, these rules have helped to produce Brandies of World stature. Brandies which win major prizes in the two big international spirits competitions in London where last year, a KWV brandy was chosen as the best Brandy or Cognac in the world.

KWV Copper Brandy Potstills 1KWV Copper Brandy Potstills

The process, of course, starts in the vineyard.  Brandy is not distilled from any old tanks in the cellar which can’t be used as wine. It starts off life as any fine wine should and is made with no use of sulfur for this would react with the copper Alambic stills.  The wine is made from either Chenin Blanc or Colombar grapes, often on the Orange River and taken to Pieter de Bod and his team of Master Distillers.  Once the wine is made it is distilled in an Alambic potstill.  This distillate is taken to 340 litre French oak barrels

[one of the requirements] where is lies for three years minimum [another requirement].

Alambik1Old illustration of an Alambic Still

From this point on, decisions are taken on the barrels, the KWV 3 year old brandy is chosen for its ability to be blended to create brandy for enjoyment with cola, fruit juice or water which is known as ‘dop en dam’, a tot and some plain water.

KWV House of Brandy Barrels French oak barrels 2The Barrel Maturation Cellar at KWV

In the case of the KWV 15 year old 100% Alambic Potstill Brandy, the brandy will lie in the barrels for a minimum of 15 years.  When the blend is made up, Pieter de Bod and his team may well even use some older brandies to fill out any flavour niches there are that need to be smoothed over.  The KWV 15 year old Alambic Potstill Brandy is beautifully packaged.

KWV 15 YR Brandy PackShot 2014_350kb-01It looks like
Packed in the same bottle as the 3, 5, 10, and 12 year olds, which looks like a skittle. In the glass, the brandy is an evenly coloured gem bright golden amber.

It smells like
Layered, complex, soft sun dried apricots and yellow clingstone peaches. Undertow of oak, much as you would find in a Tawny Port.

It tastes like
Super smooth, trickles naartjie, windfall oranges and cherry tobacco over the tongue. Lovely rich flavours and retronasal aromas in a long and gently waning aftertaste.

IMG_3076It’s good with
Usually, an old brandy like this is taken as a digestif after dinner. It is fun to serve it after dinner, perhaps in a comfortable chair by the fire? A little cheesy nibble would be good, then Alida Ryder’s Chocolate Florentines would be perfect.  Click here for her recipe.

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