As Nic van Aarde and the Vineyard Team believe that great wines can only come from the best quality grapes, intervention in the vineyards is minimal, to reflect the full potential of their mountain terroir. The Banghoek Valley is on the Eastern side of the Simonsberg creating a cooler climate than that of the West facing side of this iconic Stellenbosch Mountain.
At harvest, the bunches are pre-sorted in the vineyard and then once in the cellar after destemming the berries are sorted again, so that only the best go through to the 3 day pre-fermentation cold soak. During fermentation, pump overs take place three times a day for gentle colour, flavour and soft tannins extraction. Once dry, the wine is taken to 300 litre French oak Barrels – 17% of them new – for 19 months.
From a Bordeaux shaped, dark glass bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is simple and elegant, illustrating the 8 elements of nature found on the Estate. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The nose is interesting. Rhubarb [may best fruit], and then country lane fruits like mulberry and roadside brambles. The palate, from entry is soft, rich and round with a lovely line of raspberry acidity running into the long aftertaste. The mid-palate is full with an undertow of Parma violets to the brilliant fruit and the gentle support of the oak, with its concomitant sweet brown spice and vanilla, and the soft tannins. A truly impressive glass, eminently drinkable now. It will reward you after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The Oldenburg Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2017 is an excellent wine to have as a glass while waiting for the braai fires to be the correct heat. Great with a vegetarian main course of Aubergine, mushrooms, concentrated tomato and cheese. Naturally, a perfect partner for a good piece of steak, or perhaps a tranche of Beef at Christmas.
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