So actually my very first stop on the #WineRoutingWithLloyd trip happened to be De Grendel Wine Estate. It was definitely a visit that was going to set the bar for the entire trip in my opinion.
A quick 20 min drive from the airport & you'll find yourself arriving at De Grendel's door & we were only supposed to be spending 2.5 hours, which I thought was pretty much enough time when planning. Well, I think we sat there for almost 4 hours because it was just such a great time. I can see myself sitting there, literally losing track of the time enjoying wine & the view.
Naturally, I always say one should start the day with some bubbles. Then we can move on over into the tasting. But for now, I'll only be highlighting my Top 5 glasses, in no particular order. (Otherwise this post will get rather lengthy.)
1st up. The De Grendel - Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc
The original grapes used to make this wine, were grown in the vineyard that is next to the old 'Koetshuis' & now is rightfully been named so. Pale straw in colour, with sweet honeysuckle & granny smith apples on the nose, followed onto the palate with flavours of lime & green figs, finishing off with a lingering minerality. A slightly more complex wine, but easy drinking indeed.
Then comes the De Grendel Viognier.
This is quite the unique varietal in my opinion & one that I have really started taking a liking to. With grapes that have been handpicked & destalked, the resulting pale straw colour wine has a perfume of stone fruits (white peaches & apricots specifically) on the nose which subtly follow through on the palate & aftertaste, where a beautiful soft & buttery flavours from the oak barrels & a bit of citrus zest comes through.
Ah, the De Grendel - Op die Berg: Pinot Noir
What a beautiful wine in the glass. A bright cherry red colour with aromas of rose petals & ripe red cherries & raspberries, followed with a subtle nose of clove & fynbos. On the palate you will definitely get that dark red fruit & even a hint or 2 of the black fruit. It then finishes off elegantly with a gorgeous soft velvet aftertaste.
The De Grendel Merlot.
This wine made me fall in love with Merlot all over again. A light gem-like ruby red colour with initial aromas of berries; red, black & even blue. Then comes a bit of aniseed & liquorice. And everything above on the palate. The French Oak definitely adds support to this wine, with it being so smooth & well rounded. A wine of true balance & elegance.
Finally, I was lucky enough for a bottle of the 2014 Sir David Graaff, First Baronet of Cape Town to be opened for my visit.
This wine was produced in tribute & honour the life & legacy of Sir David Pieter de Villiers Graaf, the 1st baronet of Cape Town. Using Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon vines from the Somerset region that are all over 30 years old, ensures that vines are given nutrients from deeper soil layers. All handpicked, individually vinified & then matured for 15 months in new French Oak before it is blended in 80% Shiraz, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Petit Verdot. It is then returned to the same barrel & matured for another 6 months. That's a total of 22 months of maturation, & in my opinion, that's the epitome of longevity & potential.
A gorgeous deep ruby red glass with layers of cedar wood, pepper & cloves on the nose, with hints of those ripe dark fruits (mulberry & blackcurrant) that come through. On the palate a distinct rich plum flavour accompanied by some more savoury fruits. And an aftertaste that will have you wanting more of this full bodied wine that oozes so much finesse. (Another very unique wine, that I set out to find.)
Check out De Grendel here.
Totally loving driving the Ford Kuga around the Cape.