Leopard’s Leap home is in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley. Winemaker Renier van Deventer has a choice of a wide geographical are from which to choose his grapes. The Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Grand Vin 2016, while Wine of Origin Wester Cape, the grapes for the wine come mainly from the Stellenbosch and Darling Appellations in a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (44%), Merlot (38%), Petit Verdot (10%) & Cabernet Franc (8%). So, a classical 4-way Bordeaux style blend.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grow on unirrigated bush-vines in the Darling area. Well-drained soil types and cool, south-facing slopes, unexposed to direct afternoon sunlight, create ideal growing conditions for this variety. The Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes grow on bush-vines in the Stellenbosch Appellation. Growing against slopes facing False Bay, the grapes are exposed to the cool sea breeze, which ameliorates the summer heat in the vineyards which contributes to a longer ripening period, enhancing flavour development and greater flavour in the resulting wine.
Separately harvested at perfect ripeness, sorted by hand in the cellar. Fermentation took place with the traditional punch downs and pump overs and then continues in 225 litre French oak barrels, half of which were new, the balance a combination of 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. The wines were matured for 12 months before blending, after which the complete wine spent a further 10 months to integrate properly. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed under natural cork. Elegant Chateau style label. In the glass, a deep bloodplum at the centre which pales out to ruby at the edges. Whiffs of the expected blackcurrants and the oak and its concomitant spices. From entry the golden thread of acidity and the elegant tannins run through the generously fruited mid palate into the long and gently waning aftertaste.
The Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Grand Vin 2016 is the perfect after dinner bottle of ‘meditation’ wine where important things like rugby scores and the Saturday morning market in the village are discussed. It is a perfect food wine and will do great honour to the traditional Sunday Roast Lunch with all the trimmings. However, in mid-week, it would complement a fine pasta and deeply flavoured tomato sugo with a good grating of Parmigiana Reggiano, or a dish of wild mushrooms in a cream sauce on bruschetta. Or a simple well-cooked Tomato Bredie.
Read more about Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards – CLICK HERE