Welgegund Heritage Wines release Cinsault and Grenache Noir varietal wines
Welgegund Heritage Wines Cinsault and Grenache Noir 2017
“2017 proved to be an exceptional vintage, says winemaker, Friedrich Kühne. “Our single vineyard Cinsault and Grenache are normally destined for blending (although a Cinsault was produced in 2006 but later discontinued), but when I saw the exceptional quality of these varietals in barrel, I just knew that I had to do single cultivar bottlings of these top niche varieties and show these wines to the world. The immense drought of the 2016/2017 season had created smaller Cinsault and Grenache berries bringing lovely colour and intense concentration to the wines, with a wealth of fruit, richness, texture and depth of flavour. I wanted to showcase the ample fruit and aromas unique to Cinsault and Grenache.”
Welgegund’s wine philosophy is to craft wines of authenticity and distinction, with intense detail in the vineyards, and minimal intervention in the cellar to allow vineyard and terroir expression, to create wines true to the cultivar. Gentle winemaking allows the expression of the natural elements bestowed upon Welgegund and careful extraction of aromas, colour and flavour. All the fruit was picked by hand into small crates, an extremely labour-intensive exercise when harvesting old bush vines. The grapes were de-stemmed and sorted using state-of-the-art Pellenc grape receiving equipment, a gentle but effective process that keeps both the berries and the stalks intact. Extended cold-soaking for 48 hours ensured good colour and flavour early on. Fermentation was partly natural, with different yeasts added for the desired complexity. Both the Cinsault and the Grenache completed malolactic fermentation naturally. A large portion of the wine was aged unoaked, to retain fresh fruity aromas, with the balance aged for 14 months in 3rd and 4th-fill French oak barrels. The wines were not fined and only roughly filtered during the bottling process.
Welgegund Heritage Wines Cinsault 2017
Single vineyard special release
In the vineyard and the cellar: This wine is produced from 44-year old southwest-facing dryland bush vines planted in 1974 with an extremely low yield of 1.2 tons per hectare. 20% of the Cinsault was fermented whole-bunch, with 80% de-stemmed. A large portion of the wine (80%) was aged unoaked, to retain fresh fruity aromas, with the balance aged for 14 months in 3rd and 4th-fill French oak.
Winemaker’s tasting notes: Clear bright, with fresh purple hues. The nose shows an array of fruit, with pure fresh berries, sour cherries, raspberries, cranberry with strawberry and a hint of spice on the nose. The palate is soft, juicy and consistent, showing liquorish, dark fruit with subtle savoury notes to the fore. The tannins are silky with a persistent clean finish. Our purest expression of Cinsault.
Serving suggestions: Serve slightly chilled and enjoy with a charcuterie board in summer or game fish such as seared tuna or sushi. The Cinsault also pairs fantastically with ostrich fillet, venison and other game dishes.
Limited release: Only 1768 individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Welgegund Heritage Wines Grenache Noir 2017
In the vineyard and the cellar: This wine is produced from a high-altitude west-facing dryland bush vine vineyard planted in 2006. 50% of the wine was aged unoaked, to retain fresh fruity aromas, with the balance aged for 14 months in 3rd and 4th-fill French oak barrels.
Winemaker’s tasting notes: Bright, exuberant with light violet hues. The nose shows ample fruit, with freshly picked blackberries, cassis, raspberries, and a touch of floral note – perfume on the nose. The palate is soft, lean and refined, showing dark fruit, chocolate black forest cake with subtle hints of cloves. Powdery well integrated tannins, with a balanced seductive round finish.
Serving suggestions: Serve slightly chilled and enjoy with roasted wild mushrooms, cured or cold smoked red meat and marinated Mediterranean vegetables. The Grenache also pairs beautifully with dishes cooked with earthy spices such as paprika, cloves and cumin.
Limited release: Only 1777 (the year Welgegund was established) individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Welgegund’s heritage vineyards and the Old Vines Project
Welgegund’s ancient blocks of low-yielding dryland bush vines form part of the new and exciting Old Vine Project, an industry initiative dedicated to recognizing the special character of the Cape’s wine heritage and to preserving these beautiful old vines. Vineyards more than 35 years old are being honoured with Certified Heritage Vineyards plaques, and wines made from these heritage vineyards will proudly bear the Old Vine Project Heritage Certification Seal – A World First! In recognition of the important work of the Old Vine Project, the Platter’s Wine Guide are including the Certified Heritage Wines icon in the 2019 edition.
What makes Old Vines wine special? Like older people, ancient vines have their own, unique story and this is what the Old Vine Project is passionate about protecting and sharing. Heritage vineyards produce wines with a distinctive character that has developed over decades. The reflection in the glass tends to be denser texture, palate weight, mouthfeel, complexity, creaminess, structure and earthy flavour compounds rather than aromas and fruity flavours. Age in vines brings an intensity, a perceived freshness and a sense of place.