The Durbanville Hills Winery sits on a promontory overlooking Table Bay, the iconic Table Mountain and Robben Island. Through the Atlantic Ocean flows the Benguela Current which runs up our west coast from the cold South. Breezes off the ocean cool the valley, allowing for slower ripening of the grapes during the harvest season. Cooling mists off the ocean in the afternoon also ameliorate Summer heat in the vineyards. This allows for greater flavour in the grapes and colour in the final wine. The Winery is a collaboration between Distell and 9 wine grape growers in the valley. They produce a wide range of wines, Sauvignon Blanc being one of their specialities. Martin Moore is the founding Cellarmaster and he and his team of Kobus Gerber, white wine specialist, and Wilhelm Coetzee, red wine specialist and their teams year on year produce stonking great wines.
For the Durbanville Hills Dry Merlot Rosé 2019, the grapes, once harvested, destemmed and crushed are allowed no skin contact with the juice so that limited colour is leeched into the juice. Once cool settled, the juice is taken off the lees and to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Made in the same way as a dry white wine before being prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a white screw cap. The label is the classic lozenge shape, simple and elegant. In the glass, the wine is the colour of a pale pink diamond, gem bright. Aromas of chunky watermelon and forest strawberries combine with pink rose petals. The palate is generous, with a line of crisp acidity from entry into the long aftertaste. Berries abound as do ripe white fleshed stone fruit. While dry, it has a sweet berry undertow at the end. Ready for now drinking.
The Durbanville Hills Dry Merlot Rosé 2019 is perfect as a mid-morning refresher and with crisp summer salads which could have a topping of smoked trout or mackerel, Prosciutto, or smoked chicken.
The Durbanville Hills Sparkling Rosé is a non-vintage wine, a blend of half each Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, separately vinified, prepared for bottling and then carbonated. Again, the crushed grapes drained of their juice immediately to prevent too much colour leeching into the wine. Normal fermentation processes take place as for a white wine. Here Martin Moore was assisted by Ricardo Cloete.
From a clear glass Champagne shaped bottle, closed with and open to view Champagne cork and the little wire muzzle. In the flute, a coral pink in colour, with the tiniest of bubbles rushing to the surface and forming a crown round the edges of the glass. Aromas are sweet, red berry fruits, sweet tropical limes and the expected rose water. The palate is alive and generous with the red fruit and chunky watermelon made more vibrant by the bubbles. Bright fruited, spun sugar ending.
Serve the Durbanville Hills Sparkling Rosé well chilled. Good on its own, excellent with food. Sushi, sashimi, or go butch with some sticky sweet pork ribs off the coals.
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