De Grendel Shiraz 2016: A Collectable Cool Weather Shiraz
The 2016 Shiraz vintage from De Grendel is literally a “tale of three blocks”, explains cellarmaster Charles Hopkins. This is because the grapes sourced for the 2016 De Grendel Shiraz were sourced from a selection of established blocks from which Charles has been buying grapes from for 14 years – one in Paarl and the other two from a vineyard in the Somerset West region. “The blocks are over 15 years old, have proven themselves over the years and all have unique characteristics,” says Charles. “The three blocks were made using different methods in the cellar and then blended to create our De Grendel Shiraz.”
The hot and dry conditions experienced between 2015 and 2017 have forced winemakers to “look very deep and be very creative”. This was the motivation for Charles’ hunt for the Shiraz grapes that he felt would create a great wine, in line with the award-winning Shirazes from De Grendel in the past. The previous vintage, the De Grendel Shiraz 2015, has been De Grendel’s most successful wine in terms of competitions in the past twelve years. It was awarded three prestigious accolades in three competition in three months (including Double Gold for at the Veritas Awards), whilst previous vintages have won a number of gold and double gold awards at the Veritas and Michelangelo Awards, among others.
Charles explains the dry heat required the grapes to be picked a week earlier than is usual. He says the wine shows great promise, even though it is so young. “It is a typical cool weather Shiraz that will develop into something very special in the next couple of months with flavours of coriander, fynbos, pepper and spices,” he says. “It would work wonderfully paired with a springbok loin, a beef steak or with wintery meat stews.”