A perfumed, accessible and elegantly balanced wine with a bright cherry-plum red colour, is how cellarmaster Charles Hopkins describes the new De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage, which joins our Black Label range.
The launch of the De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage goes hand in hand with the ten year anniversary of our cellar. 3rd Baronet Sir David Graaff continued the legacy of his forbearers by opening a new era wine cellar in 2006.
For Sir De Villiers Graaff (4th Baronet), director of De Grendel Wines, this wine is personally very meaningful because it is made in honour of his grandfather, Sir De Villiers Graaff.
"I had a very close relationship with my grandfather, who was a true patriot having served his country during the Second World War and as a political leader of the opposition. Pinotage was his favourite cultivar and he was particularly fond of the grapes from the Durbanville ward. I remember while horse riding in the almond orchard as a young boy, him telling me stories of how he managed to escape, in a cupboard, from a German concentration camp,” Graaff continues.
Cellarmaster Charles Hopkins is also very enthusiastic about this newcomer: “I’ve successfully worked with Pinotage before, so it’s a bit of a homecoming for me. It’s great to work with this truly South African cultivar with its unique characteristics again. To be able to put together a proper Pinotage for De Grendel is very special. I always say that a well structured five-year-old Pinotage can be a drink to write home about.”
The 2015 vintage will be remembered for its very dry and windy conditions during flowering, which resulted in a 15% smaller crop in the coastal region. As a result of this, the harvest was 10 to 15 days earlier than normal, the vineyard growth was less and the bunches were smaller. These conditions, however, produced berries with a much higher concentration of fruit flavours and the red varietals had better colour intensity, explains Hopkins. Taking all of this in consideration, the 2015 vintage has the potential to be one of the finest vintages in recent years.
VINEYARDS: High up on the western slope of the Tygerberg, roughly 250 metres above sea level, just 7 kilometres from, and in sight of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pinotage vines are nourished by well drained blue broken shale soil. Utilising the VSP trellis system, a typical harvest produces 7-8 tons per hectare.
VINIFICATION: Grapes were carefully hand picked just before dawn, crushed and open fermented undergoing pneumatic punch-downs 4 times, day and night. The wine was then basket pressed and transferred to barrels for malolactic fermentation. Once complete, the wine was racked and transferred to 225 litre barrels for 11 months of maturation in 20% new French oak, 10% new American oak, with the remainder being divided amongst 2nd and 3rd fill American and French barrels.
TASTING NOTES: Caramelised banana and vanilla pods on the nose are aptly supported by black cherry and blueberry aromas, with hints of fennel, clove, cardamom and pepper (Chinese five spice). On the palate, a smooth entry is followed by sweet and sour dried cranberry with nuances of mulberry and mocha.
FOOD PAIRING: According to chef Ian Bergh of De Grendel Restaurant, the wine will pair excellently with game, duck and red meat, especially if served with a berry compote. It will also complement light curries and sweet and sour pork.
AGEING POTENTIAL: Although exceptionally accessible now, the wine will reward ageing for 5-8 years by becoming increasingly silky. And as tannins integrate, delicate fruit may become slightly fuller and richer in the presence of ample spice, while retaining a pleasing elegance.
ANALYSIS: Residual Sugar: 2.4 g/l; pH: 3.55; Total Acidity: 5.5 g/l; Alcohol: 14.5%
The wine is available exclusively to De Grendel Loyalty Club members at De Grendel’s Cellar and Tasting Room and online at a price of R165 per bottle. To buy this wine online, log into your account and go the the shop section of our website.