Top Drop #19, Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Pinotage 2017, made for Dianne Bibby’s Slow Roasted Lamb Shawarma…

Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Pinotage 2017

Bellingham’s Bernard Series is named after Bernard Podlashuk. Bernard and his wife Fredagh brought Bellingham Estate back to life after World War 2. They co-founded the Bellingham brand and Bernard was maverick winemaker. Never quite satisfied to be just ordinary, he is recognised for his daring vision, sheer audacity and unabated drive that helped place South African wine on the map. The legend of his tenacity and innovative flair lives on through the Bernard series, Bellingham’s premium range of hand-crafted wines.

Richard Duckitt, Bellingham’s Winemaker

The grapes for the Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Pinotage 2017 come from a single block 43-year-old Stellenbosch vineyard. Planted in decomposed granite soils which usually results in the vines being low yielding – so greater flavour and colour per bunch. During hand harvesting a primary sorting takes place at the vine, this eliminates any bunches which may be sunburned or perhaps unevenly ripe. Once in the cellar, the bunches are destemmed, and an individual berry sorting takes place. Only the finest grapes go through to fermentation which takes place in open top French oak barrels which are punched down each day. After malolactic fermentation and pressing, the wine was matured in new French oak and 50% in second fill barrels for a period of 12 months. It was then prepared for bottling.

Bernard [with pipe] & Fredagh Podlashuk & the team of Italian POWs who helped them restore Bellingham

Pour
From a Burgundy shaped bottle and closed with natural cork. The label is as elegant as the other wines in this range. In the glass, the wine is gem bright, opaque and a bloodplum colour at the heart and pales out to a purple tinted ruby at the edges. The aromas are rich with red and black berry fruits and cherries, with oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla in support of the lush fruit. The palate is generous, smooth and full. Christmas Cake, the fabulous fruit, all combine in perfect harmony in a long and gently waning aftertaste. A truly impressive glass, the wine will improve over the next 8 years if cool cellared.

Dianne Bibby’s Slow Roasted Lamb Shawarma

Pair
The Bellingham The Bernard Series Old Vine Pinotage 2017 is a serious wine and shows best when taken with a well-prepared meal. Dianne Bibby’s Slow Roasted Lamb Shawarma is just perfect here. Click for the recipe.

We are blessed to have a talented cook, photographer, author & recipe developer like Dianne Bibby in our midst

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