The Paarl Roodeberg label, it seems, has been around forever. The wine, though, has significantly evolved to suit modern tastes. Gone is the sooty smelling style of yesterday, replaced by a wine showing clean, fresh berry fruit on the nose and lively red and dark fruit, leavened with a deft touch of oak on the palate. Great value!
Chenin was sourced from Agter-Paarl, Durbanville and Bottelary Hills for this tribute series wine, named for the winery's founder. The dry 2016 vintage concentrated fruit and flavours in this granitic-soiled, old bush vine (averaging 45 years) white, already low yielding and ripe fruited. Whole bunch pressed, this spent 1 year in French wood (half new) with regular batônnage. Heady white peach, lush pear, fynbos honeysuckle is seasoned with big wood spicing and based by a creamy, rich palate. Chenin's hallmark acidity helps keeps this big wine taut and will aid its time in the cellar
Mellow green fruit with discernible gooseberry and grassy herbal scents on the nose. Generously ripe green and citrus fruit emerge on the palate, with solid mineral grip and pleasantly refreshing acidity.
It was, perhaps, inevitable that when Ernie Els, the South African golfer put his name to a wine, it would be called by his nickname, Big Easy. It’s a fruit salad blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Grenache, Viognier and Mourvèdre. Dense purple in colour, its bouquet is an amalgam of wood spice, cedar, smoke and blackberry with a note of leather. Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry on the palate with plum and prune flavours carried on a rush of fresh acidity. A great barbecue wine.
Ripe, dense and rich, opulent black fruit, cherry jam, resin and tar coat the palate of this Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier blend from sandy Franschhoek. Tannins are ample and supple, squeezing the sides of this full-bodied red. There's a pretty floral lift on the end, perhaps a nod from the Viognier, though the rest of this blend is weighted down with some charcoal dust. Certainly an easy grilled meat partner.
Soft on the sides, sappy on the palate and snipped on the finish, this merlot is sourced from vineyards 20 to 60 km from the coast in Swartland, Paarl, Overberg and Stellenbosch. Fruit from these 17 to 19-year-old-vines were cold soaked and fermented in stainless with ample pumpovers. Post-ferment, 20% saw time in stainless, with the remainder in contact with wood staves. Plum and cherry jam dominate, with some wet wood, medicinal cherry on the back end, choked out with spice. Though blocky in form, the soft sides and jammy fruit will attract many cushy merlot fans.