Thursday, April 02, 2015

Vertical tasting of Inanda red blend at Yonder Hill

Winemaker Abé Beukes moved to Yonder Hill two years ago from Darling Cellars and he is enjoying his tenure at this farm, established by the Naude family in 1997. The draw card was a tasting of some of their Inanda (place of Beauty in Zulu), a Bordeaux blend, and then to have some fun, blending some of the new wines to see if our media blends compared with the professionals! Our table didn’t make the winning blend but we came a close joint second with two other tables
Welcomed by Winemaker Abé Beukes
The Yonder Hill tasting room
Getting the room ready for breakfast and the tasting
The wines we were to taste. In the decanter is their top wine, 2009 Nicola, a classic Bordeaux style blend. It had lots of sweet fruit with grippy, chalky tannins. Smells herbaceous with smoky oak and savoury notes before the fruit appears. The palate is full of nice sweet plums and cherries and a kick of cherry pip wood. It has a lovely finish of violets from the small amount of Petit Verdot they add. Drinking well now, but will last
A butt full of Inanda
Ladies from the media, all dressed in blue, by coincidence, chat before the tasting
There was good coffee, muffins, smoked salmon egg wraps and toasted cheese sandwiches. Or fruit and yoghurt and muesli for breakfast before the tasting. We arrived at 9 and started tasting at 10. An early start
Catching up on the media gossip
John would never miss this wine box lid, it is his favourite Bordeaux
Owner Mr Naude welcomes us and tells us about the wines we will be tasting
Autumn hits the vines
Tasting begins. We tasted three. 2008, 2009 and the 2013. And then a barrel sample of the 2014. The current vintage 2013 is good value at R85 on the farm and is full of incense and violets with lots of elegance. Sweet black & dark red fruit with chalky tannins. Black cherries and their pips show in these wines and some have plums and mulberries as well. There is a little dark toasted wood bitterness on the earlier ones
Christian Eedes of Wine Magazine with the 2009 Nicola
Time to start the blending exercise These are the components we used to make our blend of Inanda
We discuss our blends. In fact both teams on the table made the same blend without realising it
Time for a coffee before heading back to town
We look forward to seeing the wines that winemaker Abé Beukes produces when they are released
This is the oldest vineyard on the farm, it is Merlot. Many of the other vineyards have been taken out and are waiting to be replanted
The front of the winery
Beautiful views across the Stellenbosch hills. It is indeed a Place of Beauty
Shady parking
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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