Had Pliny the Elder been alive today, he would have said, ‘Always something knew out of Oldenburg.’ And what a something new? With an unusual name. <CL°? Cooler than Stellenbosch. In four letters – < less than, CL Stellenbosch, ° degrees. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Oldenburg is situated high up in the Banghoek Valley, where it is indeed cooler than Stellenbosch. Up at the top surrounded by benign mountains going straight up into the sky. Looking down towards Groot Drakenstein and the mountains on the horizon. The cooling breezes, the altitude and the mountains, all making their contribution.
Born of a vintage at the very heart of the worst drought in living memory in the Western Cape, though Oldenburg had a slightly higher rainfall than the surrounding vineyards in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. The grapes were disease and pest free, with lighter bunches and smaller berries of well concentrated flavours.
The grapes for the Oldenburg <CL° White Blend 2018 are hand harvested off the Oldenburg Vineyards and are a mix of 63% Chardonnay and the balance Chenin Blanc. After careful sorting, the grapes are destalked and crushed, and the juice fermented in 300 litre barrels and the now well-known Fermentation Eggs. Once the wine was ready after lying on the lees for a while, it was prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle closed with an elegant white screw cap. It matches with very minimalist label. In the glass, a pale golden straw in colour, and gem bright. The aromas are of ripe white fleshed peaches, desiccated pineapple, and sweet tropical limes. The palate is full with an undertow of well applied oak. Flavours of the peaches and pineapple found in the aromas, and added grapefruit are found in the generous palate. Naartjies and Golden Delicious apples whisper in the long and gently waning aftertaste.
This makes a great sipper, at sundown. Also good as an aperitif and leading in to a meal. The Oldenburg <CL° White Blend 2018 a perfect food partner wine. Nadia Graves’s Asparagus Mimosa is such a classic, you can also use green asparagus. Click HERE for her recipe.