Oldenburg Vineyards, CL Red 2021
Oldenburg; a hot topic from a cool climate. Anyone who knows anything about South African wine should have Oldenburg fully on their radar – they are producing outrageously good wine and have, very arguably, the most beautiful tasting room to visit in the Cape. Oldenburg, situated in the Banghoek Valley of Stellenbosch, has one of the coolest microclimates in the region. A combination of a mountain amphitheatre, high altitude and cooling winds result in growing conditions about 5 degrees cooler than the rest of Stellenbosch.
The CL range is the Lifestyle offering in the Oldenburg range. It draws its name from being cooler than Stellenbosch; playfully using a mathematical equation, the Stellenbosch number plate prefix (CL) and degrees celsius. The range consists of a red and a white, both are blends.
A ‘right bank’ Bordeaux Blend – Merlot (54%) dominant with Cabernet Sauvignon (39%) and a splash of Cabernet Franc (7%). All grapes were destemmed before fermentation, with both of the Cabernet grapes being crushed, the Merlot whole berry. Post fermentation the wine was pressed, using a basket press, and returned to tank for Malolactic fermentation before 16 months in French oak barrels (26% new).
Deep purple in the glass with aromas of both red and black fruit, accentuated by heady aromas of fennel, rosemary and newly tilled earth. Beautiful acidity and plush tannins carry the fruit on the palate for a long finish that is bound to leave you wanting more.
Bordeaux Blend, Red Blend
Composition: 54% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc
Harvest: 9 March – 31 March 2021
Technical Data: Alc: 14.3%, RS: 2.9g/l, TA: 5.6g/l, pH: 3.58
CL is the Lifestyle range in the Oldenburg Vineyards stable. For us, the CL range represents a key part of the Oldenburg Vineyards story: that we are cooler than Stellenbosch (in terms of climate).
There are 8 Natural Elements that make our corner of the Banghoek Valley a special place to make wine, and three of these elements (the mountain ranges, the elevation and the winds) influence the coolness of our valley.
This cooler climate elevates the quality of our grapes and wine significantly, through slower and more even ripening. Cooler climate, cooler wines.
WINEMAKING / MATURATION
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes were harvested from the North-Easterly facing vineyard on Rondekop. All grapes were stored in a cold-room overnight and then destemmed and sorted by hand, spending five days in a tank to cold soak. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc berries were crushed, and Merlot berries kept whole. Pumpovers were performed up to three times per day, were gently basket pressed once fermentation completed. Finally, the juice was returned to tanks for malolactic fermentation and then transferred to French oak barrels, of which 26% were new barrels, to mature for 16 months.
This wine displays a gorgeous dark purple core in the glass. An inviting nose of newly-turned earth, black plums, maraschino cherries, rosemary and fennel. The palate is refreshing, with a balanced acidity and plushy tannins. Flavours of vibrant dark chocolate and mocha can be found, in addition to rhubarb and star anise. The wine is complex and inviting, with a grapefruit and tobacco finish. A delightful wine that is bound to be a conversation starter – and should be a regular addition to everyone’s dinner table.
Cool, wet climatic conditions created an opportunity to replenish water reserves in 2021. Although the winter rainfall started late, regular cold fronts contributed more precipitation than in the previous season. Despite sustained cool conditions, the flowering and fruit set periods were moderate and ideal. The moderate growing season resulted in lush canopies. Véraison followed the seasonal trend and was generally up to 14 days later than the previous season. Ripening was consistently about 10-14 days later than the previous year, and the ripening period was moderate with minimal precipitation during this time.
Bordeaux Blend, Red Blend
Beef fillet topped with a fresh chimichurri will be a match made in heaven for this wine!