Rickety Bridge release their 2011 Foundation Stone

Friday, 10 May, 2013
Rickety Bridge
A six cultivar Rhône-style blend kitted out in avante-garde attire
Ever-unfolding innovation and creativity, while maintaining the magic of a 200-year history, are synonymous with the picturesque Franschhoek wine and lifestyle estate, Rickety Bridge. Their distinctive Rhône-styleblend, The Foundation Stone, mirrors this trend of novelty and orginality with the 2011 vintage comprising a new blend of six Rhône-style cultivars adorned in a new, vividly imaginative label.

The Foundation Stone, named after the cornerstone of the original ‘rickety bridge’ which straddles the Franschhoek River, ushering one into the estate, boasts a highly acclaimed track record. The maiden 2008 vintage, a Shiraz Mourvèdre Grenache blend, attained an admirable four-star rating in the 2010 John Platter Wine Guide, while The 2010 Foundation Stone was named one of the Top 100 SA Wines for 2012, scooping, in addition, a Best Value award.

New label for a new blend

“As the only red blend in Rickety Bridge’s range of fine wines and a wine which our winemaker, Wynand Grobler, particularly enjoys making, we felt The Foundation Stone needed a creative new label to reflect Wynand’s innovative approach to this wine where the blend is constantly evolving. Fanakalo, a trio of talented young Stellenbosch-based designers who are making a name for themselves in the design world, came up with the perfect distinctive label for us, one that reflects modernity but with vintage nuances threaded throughout. Even the back label, with our Dodge truck forming part of the barcode, is unique. Rickety Bridge’s trademark colours of royal blue, gold and cream and key elements from our logo are evident, but combined with images of Wynand hard at work in the cellar, illustrating his hands-on commitment to this wine. We have decided to complement this wine with a Rhône-style white blend, due to the great potential shown for these wines in South Africa”, commented Rickety Bridge’s Managing Director, Jan van Huyssteen.

Vineyards and winemaking

Well manicured and settled low-yielding vineyards planted in decomposed granite soils with westerly facing slopes were identified in the Franschhoek, Swartland, Breede River, Elgin and Walker Bay areas to make this Mediterranean-style blend. The grapes were hand-picked and all six varietals were vinified and matured separately in small 225- and larger 500-litre French oak barrels for a total maturation time of 15 months and then blended for bottling.

Tasting notes and blend

The Rickety Bridge Foundation Stone 2011, a delicious blend of Shiraz (48%), Cinsaut (19%), Mourvèdre (15%), Grenache (9%), Tannat (5%) and Viognier (4%), is velvety smooth on the palate with succulent tannins and notes of white pepper, red fruit, chocolate and cherry tobacco on the nose.

Rickety Bridge’s charming winemaker, Wynand Grobler, continually experiments with the composition of this wine, tweaking it every year. “In 2009, Viognier was added to the original Shiraz Mourvèdre Grenache blend, while the 2010 vintage comprised a blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Tannat and Cinsaut, finally culminating in the addition of the full complement, with a six cultivar Rhône-style blend in 2011. The Cinsaut has opened the wine up with soft red berry fruit on the nose and finesse on the palate. The Tannat adds ageability with its great natural acidity and scrumptious tannins while the Viognier adds dark peachy spice on the nose and finish. It is an intriguing wine that over delivers on quality. It offers depth and is soft and accessible with potential to age for up to 5 years.”

Wynand Grobler’s suggested food pairing

The intriguing spiciness, myriad of nuances and intriguing combination of softness and depth make this wine a perfect accompaniment to ostrich or beef carpaccio, duck, venison or a conventional rump steak drizzled with pepper sauce.

Retail price

The 2011 Rickety Bridge Foundation Stone is available nationally at leading restaurants and fine wine merchants, retailing at approximately R85.

Rickety Bridge

When visiting Rickety Bridge today, one still crosses a bridge over the Franschhoek River to enter this picturesque sanctuary, this jewel in the vines, which offers far more than the conventional wine estate. Today this Franschhoek wine estate is home to a modern boutique-style winery, a ‘tasting room in the vines’, ‘Paulina’s’ à la carte restaurant, luxurious 4-star accommodation, a romantic wedding and function venue, a conference centre, a playground for children and a boules court.