Arendsig (= eagle's view) is a privately-owned farm with its own vineyards and boutique cellar situated in the foothills of the Robertson Valley. It is in this beautiful valley that Lourens van der Westhuizen and his team hand-select grapes of the finest quality, from which he hand crafts his quality wines with its unique and distinct aroma, flavour and character.
As Lourens says, "We are blessed with diversity. In the Southern Robertson valley, Bonnievale, we have diversity in soil. Down at the river we have sandy soils; in between, there's deeper soils and up against the slopes/hills my vines are planted in rocks. These rocks must be irrigated to enable me to grow vines in these extreme soil conditions. Due to the extreme rocky environment, the water is easily managed. The source of our water originates from the Du Toits Kloof and Ceres mountain ranges. This will all be dammed into the Brandvlei Dam that is channeled down to our valley. So often we want to rave about climate, but it all starts with the soil. Soil is the heart of the vine".
My vines are planted East to West, +/- 50 meters above the Breede River, 25 km from Robertson, close to Bonnivale and 50 minutes drive from the most Southern Point of Africa, Augulas. The Sauvignon Blanc (0.5 ha) and Chardonnay (3 ha) Blocks are located on the morning slope side. The Shiraz (3 ha), Cabernet Sauvignon (3 ha) and Viognier (1000 rows of vines) are located more towards the afternoon sun side.
Due to our location we receive morning fog during the winter season which is gently burned away by the late morning sun. During summer we have an everyday south-easterly wind that blows from the ocean to cool down the vines. In the vineyard, I am able to use irrigation for 2 hours every second day during crucial times. I can thus cool the microclimate between 12pm and 2pm during hot summer days, before the south-easterly starts to do its job. The night temperatures tend to cool down extremely well. All in all we have a great climate for growing a diversity of cultivars in this area".
100% Grenache. This is a single-vineyard wine.
Maturation: 6 months in concrete tank, no wood contact.
Nose: Violets, plums, cherry. Palate: Fleshy, syrupy texture, elegant.
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See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Chateau Coupe-Roses.
~50% Carignan, ~50% Grenache (with a little Syrah in there somewhere).
Pale red colour, brilliant which shines with light shades of purple. The scent reminds you of its fruitiness and the Carignan from where this wine comes, it is also in the mouth where the fresh red fruits dominate, associated with a refreshing liveliness. A perfect wine for all occasions, aperitifs or meals.
ABV = 13.5%.
Domaine Chante Cigale is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, between Orange and Sorgues, on a variety of soils which contain a high proportion of galets. These are the large stones of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which heat up during the day and release their heat at night, allowing the grapes to achieve maximum ripeness.
This red is powerful, with defined fruit characters and supple tannins. Since taking over the running of the estate from his father over ten years ago, Alexandre Favier has transformed the quality of the wines, which now rank amongst the very best of the appellation.
Fermentation takes 3 weeks with strict temperature control at a maximum of 30ºC to ensure that all the freshness of the red fruits is preserved. Pumping-over takes place twice a day during the first 2 weeks and once a day for the final week to keep some elegance in the wine. Ageing on the lees is done in barrel.
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah.
The Grenache character predominates on the nose with plenty of raspberry fruit. A succulent attack is balanced by fine tannins and good acidity. The finish is marked by spice and blackcurrant. This is a very versatile wine due to its fine tannins and fresh fruitiness. Try it with chicken in mushroom or red wine sauce, or with a barbeque.
ABV = 15.0%.
The name Vaudieu originated from 'Vallée de Dieu' (Valley of God), a reference to the beauty of the area. The Château is a splendid 18th century property, once owned by the négociant Gabriel Meffre, and now run by his grandson, Laurent Bréchet who has transformed the estate through substantial investment and an obsession with quality. This is now starting to bear fruit and will yield even higher dividends in the years to come. As at Vaudieu in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Laurent Bréchet has extended his commitment to quality to Domaine des Bosquets, his 25 hectares of vineyards in the Gigondas appellation, at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains. Laurent has identified three different areas, which add to the potential for different ripeness levels and fruit characters.
Situated northeast of the town, the vineyards surround those of Château Rayas. Spread over 70 hectares the soils vary greatly, from sand to quartz (galets) and clay/limestone outcrops. This diversity of soil and exposure adds complexity to the blend, with the fruit from the sandier soils lending aromatic elegance and that from the galets giving power and intensity. The vines are over 65 years in age and the fruit gains incredible levels of concentration as a result.
2015 was characterised by a long and hot summer, which brought harvest forward and boosted high alcohol levels in the grapes. Harvest took place between 8th - 28th September and the grapes were in excellent health, with well ripened stems and tannins, set to produce rich and powerful wines.
The fruit was hand-picked, sorted, destemmed and crushed before fermentation at 25°C in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Fermentation lasted approximately 30 days, with regular pump-overs made daily. Ageing took place in stainless steel tanks to retain the maximum freshness of fruit and lasted 12 months before release.
71% Grenache/Garnacha, 29% Syrah/Shiraz.
Deep ruby red in colour, with a black cherry core. This wine has lively berry fruits on the nose, with a touch of liquorice and a hint of black pepper. On the palate, it is full-bodied and the ripe tannins gently support the cherry, cassis and herb character on the finish.
ABV = 14.0%.
Good ruby red colour. Ripe, serious aromas of currant, chocolate, liquorice and Provençal herbs. Fat and dense but fresh and stylish, with a lively mineral quality and solid ripe acidity. Finishes with very smooth tannins.
Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.
Grenache 60%, Shiraz 20%, Mourvedre 20%.
d'Arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.
ABV = 14.5%.
This family-owned estate was established in 1947 and the Brusset family has managed to combine the savoir-faire of traditional winemaking with the new techniques introduced by each generation. The founder, André Brusset (1910-1999), his son Daniel, and his grand-son Laurent: three wine-growers and wine-makers with a variety of experiences have all contributed to the distinctive character of the Domaine Brusset, where three generations have complimented each other to achieve the best results. The Domaine Brusset is located in the heart of the southern Côtes-du-Rhône valley vineyards, at Cairanne. With a total of 70 hectares, their vineyards extend over 5 prestigious appellations : Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau, Côtes-du-Rhône and Ventoux.
Grenache 60%, Syrah 20%, Mourvedre 10%, Carignan 10%.
To see Brusset's information sheet - including full vineyard and winemaking detail - for this wine please click on the blue link below.
This wine not only looks like raspberries in the glass, but it shows them on the nose as well. On the palate it is supple, elegant and harmonious, and the aromatics give it a lift which can be very moreish!
ABV = 13.0%.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter at an En Primeur Rhone tasting in October 2017.
Domaine Gramenon was created in 1978 and is situated in Montbrison-sur-Lez in Drôme provençale, at the bottom of the first pre-Alps foothills, the domain stands at a 350 m altitude in the most northern part of the southern Côtes du Rhône area. The vineyard has been cultivated in a natural and organic way since its creation in 1978. They also felt that they should adopt biodynamic techniques and were certified as biodynamic in 2010. They believe each piece of their land to be specific and have its own identity.
This wine is 100% Grenache.
See blue link below for the excellent, 2017 fiche technique / technical note from the winemakers at Domaine Gramenon.
The La Sagesse reveals stony notes mixed with spices and red and black fruit aromas. The palate is full and dense, offering fruit flavours and a long, powerful finish. This wine would be a good match with beef rib, red meats or smoked crab and paprika chowder.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recomended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) - in their December 2017 edition - in their Weekday Wines column (see blue link below)
Domaine Richaud might be situated closer to the Languedoc than Burgundy, but stylistically Marcel Richaud sees himself as having more in common with the Côte d'Or. He is dismissive of what he describes as the over-extracted styles of the south. The key, he says, is balance and this begins in the meticulously tended vineyards. His new winery has a range of smaller tanks, giving greater flexibility for blending smaller parcels of wine.
The vineyards cover 55 hectares outside the village of Cairanne, on the road to Rasteau in the Côtes du Rhône. The vines are bush trained and low yielding and are 30 years old on average. Yields are approximately 38-45 hectolitres per hectare. The grapes for this wine are grown in Les Garrigues, Paligot and Beauchières vineyards. The soil consists of ancient sandy, gravelly and stony soils in the valleys of Algues and Ouveze. The vineyards are certified organic by Ecocert.
2016 was a classic vintage. Drought conditions produced smaller berries with less juice meaning lower yields, but other than that there was little to be concerned. The growing season got off to an early start, without the excessive humidity. Summer arrived earlier as well, and flowering occurred in nearly ideal conditions. The second half of the season was warm and very dry. While the hot and dry conditions persisted, the cool nights helped mitigate the effects of the heat.
Traditional vinification took place in concrete tanks where the wine remained until bottling, after which it was stored in temperature-controlled underground cellars until release.
35% Carignano/Carignan , 25% Grenache/Garnacha, 25% Syrah/Shiraz, 10% Counoise , 5% Mourvèdre.
This wine is light garnet in colour, with notes of red fruits and black olive. Fresh and balanced on the palate, with hints of violets, it has good structure, rounded tannins and a long finish.
ABV = 15.0%.
El Circo means 'the circus', and each of the varieties in this range is represented by a different circus performer. The wines are made by the co-operative located in DO Cariñena. A new, modern winery was built in 2002. Winemaker Marcelo Morales Calderon is Chilean, having previously worked for Carmen and Veramonte among others. He came for the 2000 vintage and stayed, as he was excited both by the quality of the fruit and the high standard of the facilities at his disposal.
The soil, where the short bush vines for this Garnacha are grown, is poor. The vines are planted on unirrigated land. The grapes ripen slowly, allowing their full potential to come through.
Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, with regular pump overs. Maceration took place for 10 to 15 days with natural malolactic fermentation.
Ruby red with purple hues, this Garnacha has intense aromas of ripe red fruit such as strawberries and cherries followed by a touch of spice. On the palate, it has smooth, firm tannins with a racy acidity and a very fruity finish.
Today, it is fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue at the helm of Henschke, passionately upholding the family name and reputation. Stephen and Prue continue to craft their white wines with a focus on purity, while their red wines have a strong focus on terroir, using traditional winemaking techniques. Stephen's thoughts on their work: “Prue and I are the current ‘keepers of the flame’. Just as earlier generations have done, we want to manage the vineyards and winery so they can be passed on to the next generation in better condition than we inherited them. Our vision would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will uphold and perpetuate our belief that such ancient and unique single-vineyard sites can produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity.”
This wine is 66% Grenache, 31% Mataro and 3% Shiraz.
To see some wonderful information and tasting notes for the Henschke Johann's Garden GMS 2016 please click the blue link below.
Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, in the heart of South Africa's most famous wine region Stellenbosch, Ken Forrester's vineyards are commonly referred to as the home of Chenin Blanc and other premium award-winning wines. Over the years, this range of top quality wines has received massive national and international acclaim with literally hundreds of awards and accolades. The wines are broadly available in reputable restaurants and exported around the globe. Ken Forrester’s philosophy has always been to create a range of handcrafted, individually made wines that suitably complement a wide variety of food styles and provide excellent value.
This is the Forrester red equivalent of the iconic FMC Chenin: a stunning New World, red Rhone blend. 65% Grenache, 35% Syrah: a hand-picked selection of the finest and ripest fruit.
Cool-soaked prior to fermentation, then taken to new French oak barrels for 12 months. At this point a further selection takes place before blending and the final blend goes back to new barrels to marry and harmonise over the following 12 months. After almost 2 years languishing in a cool cellar the Gypsy is stable with the oak and intense fruit totally harmonised. A very concentrated, focussed blend, with layers of deep fruit.
The character is somewhat 'wild' a little brambly with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, dark spices, with vanilla scents and a distinct, concentrated red-fruit focus. Great for laying down and keeping for at least ten years but already rewarding if allowed to breathe in a decanter.
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Ken.
ABV = 14.0%.
Maison Les Alexandrins is the newly renamed collaboration between Nicolas Jaboulet, formerly of the eponymous winery in Tain, winemaker Guillaume Sorrel and viticulturalist Alexandre Caso. Each person brings their expertise to this micro-négociant, an extension of Domaine Les Alexandrins, established in 2015. The aim of Maison Les Alexandrins remains the same: to buy parcels of fruit from some of the top growers in each appellation in the Northern Rhône. Maison and Domaine Les Alexandrins will soon be a permanent fixture in the Northern Rhône with a new winery under construction in Tain-l’Hermitage.
This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syra. The Grenache is grown on vines located in the commune of Vaucluse and the Syrah is from vineyards further north, in Vinsobres. The vineyards are planted on a variety of soils: clay and limestone with a stony top soil. The stones are excellent for retaining heat and ensuring that the grapes achieve full ripeness.
The 2017 vintage began with a mild winter, followed by lower temperatures in May with some heavy rain during the flowering period, which led to a reduction in yields. By mid-June, the weather improved, becoming warm and dry, ideal growing conditions for the grapes. The wines give an impression of opulence, concentration and generosity. Ageing will allow the wines to soften and slowly find their balance.
After the grapes were harvested, they were sorted and destemmed at the winery. Fermentation took place in a mixture of temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. Following fermentation, the wine was aged for eight months before it was bottled, this allowed the tannins to homogenise and soften.
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah.
This Côtes-du-Rhône offers opulent aromas of black and red fruits with a warming cinnamon spice. The combination of Grenache and Syrah gives the wine a beautiful freshness and generous mouthfeel, with an aromatic finish. This wine is drinking extremely well now, but will also age well over the next five years.
ABV = 13.5%.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition panel tasting of Priorat (see blue link below).
This seven-hectare property has been in the Ferrando family for 150 years. Today viticulture, winemaking and blending are overseen by Jordi Masdeu Català, a young Spaniard who spent time selling wine in London and Alessandro Marchesan. Their shared passion for old Garnacha and Cariñena vines led them to the famous slate, or llicorella soils of Priorat. The weathered old vines yield tiny quantities of fruit for both Mas La Mola wines.
Mas La Mola Priorat is a wine blended from grapes grown in a number of different vineyards on the estate which are situated between 350-800 metres above sea level. The vines are planted in different parcels in the Poboleda district, on llicorella slate slopes. Each parcel is different in terms of solar orientation, the unique microclimate that exists there, the varietals which grow and the different rootstocks used. The low-yielding Garnacha vines are aged between 35-70 years old.
Harvest was carried out by hand with rigorous selection both in the vineyard and at the winery. The grapes underwent a long, cold maceration to ensure a progressive extraction of colour and flavour. Malolactic fermentation took place in oak and the wine was then aged for 12 months in four-year-old French Allier oak barrels. Only the best barrels from each year are used for the final blend of Mas la Mola.
85% Garnatxa Negra and 15% Garnatxa Peluda.
Deep ruby in colour with a youthful purple hue, this wine has intense and layered aromas of black cherries, blueberries and a hint of spicy oak notes and a smoky minerality. This Priorat is full bodied and powerful, with ripe tannins, mouth-watering acidity and a long, fruit-driven finish.
ABV = 14.5%.
Since the early 19th century Paul Jaboulet Aine has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhone. In 1834, Antoine Jaboulet (1807-1864) started working the land in this region, creating a lasting link between the Jaboulet name and the Rhone over the generations. This famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They have brought renewed energy to this corner of France.
Vacqueyras was one of the first villages of the Southern Rhone recognised for the quality of its wines; it was classified among the Grandes Appellations Locales in 1990. The vineyard is situated in the département of the Vaucluse, at the foot of the spectacular Dentelles de Montmirail range.
Les Cypres is named after the cypress trees that grow among the picturesque vineyards.
75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. Yields are around 35 hl/ha, producing great fruit concentration. Average vine age is around 40 years; the vines grow in dry, sandy soils on a bedrock of limestone.
Deep ruby in color with violet hues. The nose offers notes of red berries (forest fruits) with a hint of scrubland/garrigue. Powerful on the palate, with spicy, warming notes. Wild red berries and spice cascade in layers, revealing new subtleties with every sip. A soft and yet (dare we say: pleasantly) chewy texture is supported by the signature Jaboulet minerality.
ABV = 14.5%.