Glorious Grenache Mixed Case
Illimis Grenache Noir 2020
Sourced from an old block in Wellington, next to the Bergrivier, that Lucinda has had her eye on for many years. Consisting of mostly skalie with a few pockets of schist. Only her second vintage from this block, 2020 saw the first vintage where she had a full year’s viticultural input and could harvest slightly earlier than 2019. With 50% whole bunch and 50% destemmed before spontaneously fermenting in one very old 500L vat. And that’s all she produced.
The wine has a restraint intensity slowly opening up to a bouquet of bright juicy raspberry, bramble and cherry that slowly give way to wood polish, violets and a touch of fig leaf.
On the palate, the wine is light, tight and sappy with grippy tannin, just enough acidity to keep things fresh and an uncanny flavour of a new car. Or at least what I think new car smell would taste like. That slightly perfumed, polished leather. And ends in the faintest hint of cinnamon on red fruit.
This is an outstanding wine that delivers in bucker loads in its youth but will continue to improve with upwards of seven years of careful cellaring.
Best enjoyed slightly chilled, in a Burgundy glass, on its own, with delicate game meat dishes or with some salami.
Naudé Wines Grenache 2019
It’s back! The serious cork dorks out there will remember the highly acclaimed and much-lauded 2014 Naudé Wines Grenache Nour which Ian produced from a small block in Agter Paardeberg. Sadly, as quickly as it arrived it disappeared again. As is often the case with these little parcels, they get very little attention until a maestro gets his or her hands on them, produces an outstanding wine and then everybody wants to lay claim to the vineyard.
This is exactly what happened to Ian and his now-famous Grenache block but luckily in 2019 he secured the rights once again and we can now enjoy this spectacular wine hopefully for many more vintages to come.
Pale, almost garnet in colour, the wine greets you on the nose with an intense aroma of freshly peeled oranges, strawberry, raspberry and nutmeg. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s delicate. On the contrary, it smells like a man, man. A bit like Old Spice.
Like wine is completely in touch with its feelings but can still bunch a horse to the ground. If you know what I mean.
The palate is dry, light, tight and mineral with chalky fine-grained tannin and again those flavours of citrus, red fruit and spice complemented by tilled earth and leather that hang around long after the glass is empty.
This is an outstanding wine but is way too young to be drunk now. For the tasting we double decanted the wine a day in advance, not doing so will only yield a wine that tastes of tart red fruit. This wine is best left to mature for another two years before drinking and will benefit from upwards of a decade of careful cellaring.
Tierhoek Old Vine Project Grenache 2019
Produced from one of the oldest blocks of Grenache in the country, officially certified by the Old Vine Project (OVP) as being planted in 1977 but with an estimated history going back closer to the mid 60’s.
A patchwork of unirrigated organically farmed bush vines on decomposed sandstone, this wine is truly part of our viticultural heritage. The wine was made with as little interference as possible. Sponatioasly fermented and matured for only nine months in old barrels. To allow the best possible expression of this old vineyard.
The wine is pale ruby in colour with that characteristic raspberry and strawberry nose, a touch of dried orange peel and the unmistakable smell of dust on a farm road after a long dry spell.
The palate is dry, with dusty fine-grained tannin and a surprising amount of refreshing acidity that leads to concentrated flavours of bright red fruit that opens up to a mouthful of potpourri, violets and dried orange peel before ending in a slightly herbal finish.
This is a very good wine, verging on outstanding, and fascinating for its uniqueness. It can be drunk now but will benefit from upwards of seven years of careful cellaring.
Serve in a burgundy glass, at 16℃ - 18℃.