Panthera pardus pardus is the zoological name for the Cape Leopard which roams the mountains of the Southern Cape. Says Hein Koegelenberg, CEO of Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards. “I believe a fitting way of sharing our treasures, such as terroir, diversity and natural beauty, is to present an intricate and involving wine blend. Inspired by the King of the Cape Mountains, this wine expresses the charismatic play between intensity and elegance, while being gently approachable. The natural preference of people who, like myself, get excited about enjoying wine as part of an everyday quality lifestyle.”
The blend for the Leopard’s Leap Pardus 2018 is 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cinsault. The Merlot is from the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, the Cabernet Sauvignon from irrigated bush vines in Paarl, and the Cinsault from dryland bushvines in Darling.
During the wine making process, the wines were separately vinified and matured in French Oak Barrels. The Merlot was matured for 18 months. 33% in first-fill, 33% in second-fill and 33% in third-fill barrels. The Cabernet Sauvignon was matured, also for 18 months, 50% in second-fill and 50% in third-fill barrels. The Cinsault component spent a year maturing in third-and fourth-fill barrels. After blending the wine was prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork, dipped in red wax. The label is in brown, elegant. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to a purple tinged ruby at the edges. The aromas and palate segue one into the other. Red berries and cherries with an undertow of oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla. There is harmony between the fruit, the fine ripe tannins, the oak and the spice. Long and gently waning aftertaste. An impressive elegant glass, eminently drinkable now and will reward after a couple of years of cool cellaring. Excellent quality to price ratio.
The Leopard’s Leap Pardus 2018 is a perfect sipping wine for serious contemplation and conversation. As a food partner it finds happiness with most red meat dishes, lusty vegetarian dishes like Aubergine Parmigiana, and a tranche of a year old Dalewood Fromage Huguenot.
Read more about Leopard’s Leap Family Wines – CLICK HERE