Oldenburg Vineyards, high up in the Banghoek Valley in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation has unique advantages – the climate is cooler than that of the west facing side of the Simonsberg. The Estate has an enchanting little hillock in the middle called Rondekop, which contains ferricrete soils which make a huge difference to the last of the wine. Intervention in the vineyards is minimal which expresses itself, together with microclimate, soil, man and other elements of terroir, in that special somewhereness which makes a wine. The winemaker, Nic van Aarde, in the cellar works to best showcase the grape and its wine, in this case the Oldenburg Grenache Noir 2018.
The grapes for the Oldenburg Grenache Noir 2018 were hand harvested and taken to the cellar where they are bunch and berry sorted. Destalking and crushing took place, followed by fermentation and maturation, which took place over 16 months in 300 litre French Oak Barrels, of which 28% were new and the balance 2nd fill. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. Elegantly labelled showing the 8 different natural elements which determine the uniqueness of the Oldenburg Vineyards. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum colour at the heart, which pales to ruby at the edges. The aromas and palate run one from the other. Lovely bold roadside brambles, mulberries and fynbos herbaceousness. The oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla is beautifully interwoven with the tannins, the forward fruit in a super smooth sappy wine. One thing that I really enjoy in the later vintages is how this wine has changed and become more full bodied and confident. This comes about from early summer harvest of half the bunches on the vine, creating greater flavour in the final wine.
The Oldenburg Grenache Noir 2018 would like to be lightly chilled for greater enjoyment. It is a wine which would happily match any number of robustly flavoured dishes. The Portuguese flambé Chorizo in young brandy which works with this wine as a pre dinner snack. Nina Timm’s Spicy Sausage Eggplant Bake is the perfect match. Click HERE for her recipe and to view her website.
Nina Timm of myeasycooking.com
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