So, this is a new series that I would like to begin, as I chronicle some of the wines I come across (this is what happens when you live in the wine capital of South Africa). Not many people know this but I actually have a certificate in South African Wine Education; in a nutshell, that means I know a thing or two about our local wines, and so this series will not only highlight a monthly wine that I’m enjoying but will also give you insight into what makes that wine so good.
So for July, we’re kicking things off with wine from De Grendel, and more specifically, their 2016 Shiraz.
This 2016 Shiraz has a little story behind it, as told in this article. But in essence, this vintage has grapes that have been sources from 3 different established blocks for the past 14 years – one in Paarl and 2 others from a vineyard in the Somerset region (which is often referred to as a premium red wine region in South Africa because of its ocean influence and moderate rainfall; this is where you’ll predominately find great Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blends). These 3 different blocks have been blended in a unique way to create the 2016 Shiraz that I’ve come to love.
With a little extra digging, I also came to learn that this particular vintage wine has high quality grapes sourced from selected wines in Paarl and the Firgrove area, which contributes to some of the unique characteristics of this 2016 Shiraz. The actual De Grendel vineyard is situated closer towards the Durbanville area of Cape Town and lends itself towards its close proximity to the cold Atalantic ocean and Tygerberg mountain, which shields the grapes from sunburn and retains that high quality taste that you’ll pick up as you sip.
I admit, Shiraz isn’t my personal go-to choice of red wine but this one from De Grendel is absolutely superb, with its spicy flavours that include pepper and fynbos. I like my red wines more on the spicier and robust side and this one meets that expectation. With its deep ruby purple colour, you’ll also pick up on the subtle nuances of cocoa and mocha on the nose (when you give the glass a little swirl and sniff) while tasting some black fruit and mulberry on the palate.
It’s honestly a beautiful balance of fruit and spice that this 2016 Shiraz got right, and when it comes to pairing it with food, do so with most red meat varieties – Springbok, lamb, steak, or in my case, a winter stew.
I am yet to give their white wine varieties a try but believe me when I say that this 2016 Shiraz makes for the perfect winter accompaniment for any hearty meals you’ll have during the colder months. If you’re a fan of spicy red wine with subtle fruit notes, you should certainly give this wine a taste.
To find out more about De Grendal, click here.