ABSA Top 10 Pinotage provides glimpse of Delheim excellence

Friday, 4 August, 2017
Delheim Estate
Stellenbosch estate sees two of its wines rank among judges’ favourites

The much-anticipated announcement of winners at this year's ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition has again confirmed what wine cognoscenti have known all along: that the family owned wine estate of Delheim has a golden touch. Displaying the full scale where skill meets terroir, Delheim saw not only two of its wines make the cut as finalists, but the Delheim Pinotage 2012 went on to become one of the Top 10 winners.

The ABSA Top 10 Pinotage is South Africa's biggest competition for producers of wine from this South African-developed variety that is now successfully grown around the world.

In the run-up to this year's event, the 21st time the competition has been held, the Delheim Pinotage 2012 was chosen as a finalist by an experienced industry panel along with Vera Cruz 2014.

"To have two wines selected as a finalist is extremely gratifying, but to be in the Top 10 Pinotage is off the charts," says Delheim Cellarmaster Reg Holder. "This is valuable recognition of the terroir and skills reflected in all our wines."

Delheim's Pinotage vineyards are situated on its Vera Cruz property and cultivated as bush vines. "They stand on decomposed granite, are tortured by the South Easter and farmed dryland," says Holder. "The subsequent small berries give us great concentration of flavours and tannin, which adds to complexity and structure. The style is more feminine than masculine and so tends to retain more acidity while careful use of oak protects lush, yet elegant flavours. This aids the wines' longevity."

The Delheim Pinotage 2012 hails from bush vine and trellised vineyards situated in the Muldersvlei region.

After hand selection of grapes in the vineyard, de-stemming, light crushing and vinification, the wine spent 12 months in oak barrels of which 21% were new. In this case, the wine emerged deep ruby-red in colour. There are aromas of black cherry, plum and red berry fruit, with notes of dark chocolate and floral blossoms. The palate shows red and black berries, with fine, soft tannins that linger on the palate.

The grapes for the Vera Cruz 2014 were harvested separately, from selected pockets of a single vineyard, where the critical initial selection is made. They were destemmed and lightly crushed into open-top fermenters. After vinification, the wine spent 17 months in French oak barrels, of which 35% were new. The result is a wine with hues of vivid crimson and purple. Layered aromas suggest plums, red currants, tobacco, black cherries and chocolate truffles. It shows on the mid-palate with flavours of plums, mulberry and fresh cherries.

"Fine, velvety tannins underpin the fruit core while balance and depth of flavour define its finish," says Holder, who adds that the Vera Cruz made the Pinotage Top 10 three years ago - and that with its maiden 2012 vintage.

The Pinotage 2012 retails at R150 and is available directly from the farm. The Vera Cruz retails at R425 per bottle and is available at the farm as well as a few selected Spar shops and restaurants.

Did you know you can buy wine directly from Delheim and have it delivered to your door? Visit the online store at www.delheim.com, where you can also be the first to know about the estate news and events by signing up for the Delheim newsletter. Find Delheim on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/delheim/) and on Twitter @Delheim.

Delheim Estate is located in the Simonsberg sub-region of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, on the Knorhoek Road, off the R44.

Delheim winemaker Reg Holder in the cellar
Delheim winemaker Reg Holder in the cellar

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