Rhodium is a fine metal of which 80% of the world’s production takes place in South Africa. Adrian Vanderspuy, Oldenburg’s Owner, has, for a long time been interested and involved in precious metals. The metal is used mainly in the manufacture of jewellery. Adrian links the wines of the Estate’s enchanting little Rondekop Hill to Rhodium, a precious rare metal, Rondekop producing some precious rare wines. The season of 2017 was the last year of the worst drought in living memory. This meant smaller berries on the vines, though they had great flavour and colour.
At harvesting the grapes were hand-picked with primary bunch sorting taking place in the vineyards. After destemming and crushing, this sorting was followed by berry selection ensuring that only the finest grapes went into the making of the wine. Cold soaking too place for three days before fermentation. During the fermentation, pump overs took place between one and three times a day.
Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel and a further 19 months was spent in 70% new 300L French oak barrels. The best of these were used for the blending of the final wine in the ratio of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. A fine right bank Bordeaux style blend. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shape bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is the now easily recognised Oldenburg illustrating the 8 geographic elements which make the wines of the Estate, cooler than the Western side of the Simonsberg, and thus cooler. In the glass, a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are what one expects, crushed tomato leaf, fynbos herbs, and sweet brown spices which segue into the palate with a fine punch of Morello Cherries, blackcurrant and brambles, all with a line of raspberry acidity and gentle tannins going into the long aftertaste. A truly impressive glass. Eminently drinkable now, though will just get better and better over the next 8 to 10 years with cool cellaring.
A wine like the Rondekop Series Rhodium 2017 is made for a bottle of quiet contemplation and discussion. It is just magical with food. Having made a pot of short ribs to accompany this wine, I highly recommend Alida Ryder’s Slow braised beef short ribs with cheesy mash. Click HERE for her recipe.
Listen to my Fine Music Radio podcast and YouTube Video about the Oldenburg Vineyards, Rondekop Series Rhodium 2017, CLICK HERE
Read more about Oldenburg Vineyards – CLICK HERE