De Grendel, Amandelboord Pinotage 2021
De Grendel sources their grapes for this Pinotage from a block of vines,250 metres above sea level, and only 7km from the cold Atlantic Ocean – both of these factors assist in cooling the vineyard, yielding an elegant wine.
Grapes were crushed and then fermented in open-top fermentation vessels, undergoing frequent punchdowns. Post fermentation, malolactic fermentation occurred in stainless steel tanks before 12 months of oak aging – French and American oak, with only 12% new.
Made in the ‘newer style’ of Pinotage – so expect freshness, red fruit and spice. Tannins are ripe and soft, making the wine accessible in its youth, but also very capable of ageing.
The season presented a cold winter and a cold spring with good rainfall and a very moderate growing period during summer. This resulted in a later-than-usual harvest and grapes were harvested 14 days later compared to 2020.
The Pinotage vineyards are planted in welldrained blue, broken shale at 250 metres above sea level on the Western slope of the Tygerberg 7 kilometres from, and in sight of, the Atlantic Ocean. Employing the VSP trellis system, a typical harvest produces 7 to 8 tons per hectare.
Grapes were hand-picked just before dawn, then crushed and open-fermented
while undergoing pneumatic punchdowns four times a day. The wine was basket-pressed and transferred to tanks for malolactic fermentation. On completion of MLF, the wine was racked and transferred to 225 litre barrels to mature for 12 months in a combination of French and American Oak of which 12% was new oak
A wine with ripe, soft tannins that is made to last. Bright purple edge with an intensely dark core. Cherry tobacco and Christmas spice of cloves and cinnamon abound. On the palate, this medium bodied wine delivers flavours of sour cherry, cocoa, Cedar wood and fresh plums.
Traditional South African fare such as braaivleis (BBQ), wildspotjie (game stew),
Cape Malay bobotie (an oven-baked dish of spiced mince and dried apricots topped with an egg-custard), biltong (beef jerky) and samp with beans will be a true delight to enjoy with Pinotage. Non-conformists can try Pinotage with sushi, especially sashimi with pickled ginger and soy sauce to complement the spicy and umami flavours of the wine.
Pairs well with red meats or, if you’re a non-conformist, De Grendel suggests that it pairs well with sushi and sashimi too. Versatile.