Thursday, February 01, 2018

A tasting at De Grendel

to end the day
Lovely views from De Grendel’s terrace of the city and the mountains are just some of its draw cards. But the reason why we all flock there is the lovely wine produced under the guidance of Cellarmaster Charles Hopkins. The staff there is so professional, friendly, helpful and informed, even though many of them are University students. All this makes one relax, as does tasting some of the wines. Oh, and they do have a rather good restaurant
You can sit on the terrace ....
.... or inside in the glass fronted stoep
or walk through to the more comfortable tasting room
We began with the 2017 Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, full of green leaves, green figs and gooseberries on both the nose and palate. Good acidity and length. It has had a little wood exposure this year. A great quaffing and food wine. The estate’s grapes are combined with grapes from Darling. R150
Then the Op die Berg Chardonnay, which is fermented in 1st, 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels, then left sur lie for 6 months with batonage. Rich and full on the nose, rich and creamy with vanilla, pear and peach on the palate, some warmth with limes and lemons on the long end. The grapes come from their high Ceres vineyards. R175
We visited on a very good day, as they had just released the 2015 Op de Berg Pinot Noir. Mr Hopkins uses new oak barrels to ferment in, but then the wine is matured for 13 months in older barrels which has added nice spicy incense wood notes, but only in the background. Dry chalky tannins at present which will soften, with rhubarb, morello cherries and cranberries. It is still a bit tight and closed but definitely worth buying to lay down. The grapes come from their high Ceres vineyards. R175
It has been quite a while since we tasted their flagship red wine, Rubaiyat and were fortunate to be given this to taste. A classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, it never fails to impress. It was named by the late Sir David Graaff Bt. for his favourite poem, The Rubaiyat by the 11th Century Persian poet Omar Khayyam. "Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness - And Wilderness is Paradise enow". Now it is cellarmaster Charles Hopkins’ love poem to wine. It was the 2015 vintage. Spiced cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla - all combined to a great Cherries Jubilee on the nose! Dry on the palate, this is still very young and will last at least 20 years if not more and will win awards. Such good rich and concentrated dark fruit, with hints of chocolate and graphite, violets and cedar wood, ending with chalky tannins. R300
Do visit the estate and taste the wines, you will thank us
The symbol of Cape nature; a bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus) in a field on the estate
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