De Grendel’s unique cool-climate Elim Shiraz 2017, in only its second vintage, claimed victory as the best wine overall in the inaugural Winemag.co.za Shiraz Report released yesterday, 20 August 2019.
Scoring an “outstanding” 95 points, the De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2017 was praised by the judges as “intense but not weighty, admirable for both its focus and elegance”.
“A very primary nose with berries, pepper and some smoky reduction to the fore. The palate has lovely fruit concentration, zippy acidity and crunchy tannins,” the three-personal panel led by winemag.co.za editor Christian Eedes concluded.
De Grendel cellar master Charles Hopkins said the 95-point top score for the 2017 Elim Shiraz was a remarkable testimony to the potential he saw more than 20 years ago in the unique cool-climate terroir around the tiny village close to Africa’s southern tip at Cape Agulhas.
“There are few areas in South Africa that can produce the rare and sought-after rotundone style found in our Elim Shiraz – with its incredibly alluring, fragrant and intense black pepper and herbal notes – and Elim is the most consistent. The judges recognised the unique style and quality of this wine, which is drinking beautifully now and has exceptional maturation potential,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins is originally from Bredasdorp, close to Elim, and was one of the pioneering winemakers who first planted vineyards in the area in 1994, but it was only in 2016 that he made and released the first De Grendel Elim Shiraz from vineyards planted on virgin land specifically selected for Shiraz planting.
He considers the Elim Shiraz his personal pride and joy, and it is bottled as a limited release of 1,500 1.5 litre magnums and available exclusively to De Grendel Loyalty Club members at R695, from the estate or via the De Grendel online shop.
The “exceptional and near-perfect conditions” of the 2017 vintage, considered one of South Africa’s best-ever, lead Hopkins to believe the 2017 Elim Shiraz will perform even better than its 2016 predecessor, which was awarded a Michelangelo double gold and Veritas gold, placed in the Top 12 SA Shiraz Challenge, received 4.5 stars in the 2019 Platter’s guide and 91 points from wine critics Tim Atkin and James Suckling.
The delicate black pepper and notes of lavender, violets and rosemary, with a full-bodied, rich and juicy palate, make the Elim Shiraz 2017 an ideal partner to rich meat dishes with herbal, savoury or spicy flavours, such as roasted Karoo lamb, gorgonzola cheeseburgers or fillet steak with creamy brandy and peppercorn sauce.
The wine was 30% whole-bunch fermented and matured for 13 months in second- and third-fill French oak barrels.
The inaugural winemag.co.za Shiraz Report 2019 saw 83 wines from 67 producers blind-tasted and scored on the 100-point scale by a three-person panel consisting of Eedes as chairman, with Roland Peens and James Pietersen of Cape Town fine wine merchants Wine Cellar. The report is available on www.winemag.co.za
The De Grendel Elim Shiraz is exclusively available to De Grendel Loyalty Club members. Remember to sign into your Loyalty Club account here to reveal the De Grendel Elim Shiraz and other Loyalty Club exclusive wines in the shop section of our website.
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