South Africa, Stellenbosch, March 2016; BOUTIQUE Banghoek winery, Oldenburg Vineyards has launched their first ever Grenache Noir, a quirky addition to their range of premium wines. The Oldenburg Vineyards Grenache Noir 2014 is the first to be made and bottled exclusively from Banghoek fruit.
Grenache Noir is generally seen as a grape better suited to hot, inland climates, so the cooler slopes of the Banghoek Valley may not be seen as the obvious choice for this grape. But Oldenburg Cellarmaster Philip Costandius believes there is a growing interest in wines with elegance and poise, and this particularly applies to grapes such as Grenache Noir which have a reputation for making full-bodied, alcoholic wines.
“Our south-west-facing Grenache vineyard is one of the highest on the farm – right at the top of the mountain –which makes it cooler than most other Grenache vineyards in South Africa. The fruit ripens slowly but fully, allowing us to make a rounded yet elegant wine at a more moderate alcohol level” says Philip.
The vineyard was planted in 2011 as a bush vine vineyard and it was originally intended to be solely used in a Rhône-style blend with Oldenburg’s much-vaunted Syrah. “But the 2014 was so good” says Philip “we just had to bottle some on its own!”
The long-term plan is to incorporate the Syrah and Grenache Noir as well as Mourvèdre and Viognier, both of which are already planted on the farm, to form a premium Rhône blend similar to those found in Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the South of France.
“I spent the 2000 vintage in the Southern Rhône” explains Philip “and really fell in love with these succulent and savoury wines. If truth be told, I’m a complete Rhône-o-phile and I’m very excited about the chance to re-create something similar here at Oldenburg!”
The Oldenburg Vineyards Grenache Noir 2014 is made from bushvine fruit harvested at low yields of around 6 tonnes per hectare. Half of each bunch was removed just after fruit set in order to improve concentration of both flavour and colour. The wine was aged for 20 months in 300-litre French oak barrels, 50% new and the rest second-fill. The result is a sturdy wine with plenty of ripe berry fruit and a savoury, earthy edge. Supple tannins and subtle spice complete this very food-friendly wine which Cellarmaster Philip recommends will go well with a rustic lamb bredie or stew.
The Oldenburg Grenache Noir 2014 is available from the cellar door and to the Wine Club members at R250 a bottle.