Western Cape Rosé

Both a designated coastal wine region and historical centre, the dynamic town of Stellenbosch lies 50km inland of Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Three centuries on in time and toil from the first planting of grapevine by Dutch and Huguenot settlers in 1690  — an under-developed plot of land that local farmers had dismissed as vuilplasie (‘dirty little farm’) was gradually converted into a vineyard. Launched with a fledgeling white wine vintage in 1992, the ever-evolving Mulderbosch winery has seen a number of development phases, both in its properties and its wine crafting talent. Star vintner Mike Dubrovnic led the enterprise through a period of expanded profile, and now under Adam Mason’s creative winemaking guidance, it continues to contribute to South Africa’s revival as a reliable source of very affordable, accomplished and terroir-distinctive wines.

This week’s DéClassé featured varietal Rosé is made from the so-called Don of red wine grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon. With distinctively compact blackberries and a thick-skin, Mulderbosch harvests these somewhat earlier than if it were destined to be finished as a full red wine. This particular practice of fashioning Rosé yields naturally higher levels of acidity, minerality, and brightness to the bottled aromas of the fruit. Exploiting a local geographic advantage, their vines are planted in well-drained, valley terrain below the Cape Fold mountain range. The surrounding hills also act as a funnel, directing cooling breezes into the vineyard rows; a critical benefit that counteracts the grape-wilting heat of South African summers.

This impressive 78-hectare farm has come a long way in a quarter century. Along with attaining critical and commercial success, the eco-friendly farming strategies that they’re employing qualify it as Certified Sustainable. Moreover, sections of the property have been dedicated to a conservancy that includes the rehabilitation of wetlands; better ensuring that the biodiversity of indigenous vegetation and wildlife will continue to thrive.

Local rumour has it that, once upon a time, only Mozart was played in the cellar during the cool fermentation processing of the grapes; perhaps imparting some layered finesse and playful sophistication into the developing wine? True or not, a great deal of investment by the vintner has been directed into this attractively priced, and unique bottling – that should translate into you picking up at least 3!

MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2016
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #999821 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in Coastal Region, South Africa
By: Mulderbosch
Release Date: July 22, 2017

Tasting Note
This is a dry, medium-bodied Rosé that’s full of delightful lip-smacking acidity. With cherry, ripe strawberry and pomegranate flavours, serve this well-chilled to preserve its crispness. Substantial on its own as an apéritif or along with summer citrus-laced salads, Thai spring rolls, sushi or an asparagus quiche.

Western Cape Chenin Blanc

In the 1650’s, while toiling to create productive fields at the end of a rutted ox wagon trail that connected with the small coastal outpost of Cape Town, farmers also had to keep their ears tuned for a tell-tale shot ringing out from the heights of Kanonkop (‘cannon hill’). Repeated by a string of relay-cannons, the booming signal would eventually reach the remotest inland settlements; announcing the port arrival of a sailing ship requiring fresh provisions! Resupply and repair of the Dutch East India Company’s Maritime fleet at the southern outcrop of Africa was a compelling motivation in the 17th century for founding Cape of Good Hope as a refueling station; critically positioned halfway between Atlantic home ports in the Netherlands and the Indonesian trade colonies of Batavia that lay across the Indian Ocean and Java Sea. Included on the checklist of ships’ stores was the need to replenish their bottled spirits. The French Huguenot settlers who had been enlisted by the Dutch company recruiters were quick to transplant grapevines into this untapped agricultural paradise, then sell onboard the finished wines!

With some justified claim to being one of the Cape’s renowned white grape varieties, the plucky, old, and gnarly bush vines that produce Chenin Blanc thrive, unirrigated, in this dryland region’s crushed granite soils. Challenged by these conditions, the long-lived rootstock has learned to burrow deeply; drawing on the mineral-rich nutrients and moisture that have percolated downward in the rocky terrain. As is often the case with grapevines, environmental stresses promote the development of more characterful fruit; invested with a nuanced layering of flavour. The desirable combination is evident in this DéClassé featured bottling of a historically unheralded, though now renascent, Chenin Blanc wine style. Well suited to the terroirs of the continent’s southernmost tip, this vintner has aptly and evocatively named the offering, Vinum Africa.

helderberg

Comprising 20% of South Africa’s total cultivation and output, the winelands of the Stellenbosch region in the Western Cape continue to rise in the competitive ranks of reputation. The somewhat younger, ocean-facing vineyards of the Winery of Good Hope lining the lower slopes of the Helderberg (bright mountain), are one cornerstone of a farming enterprise that’s at the creative forefront of exploiting the advantages of a dynamic wine region, and its motivated cadre of world-class winemakers. Hands-on harvesting, manual sorting, and careful selection lead the production process where natural fermentation of the grapes takes place in stainless steel tanks. While a majority of the harvest is left to linger on the expired yeast (lees), infusing the batch with some subtle toasty notes, the other 30% is transferred to mixed generations of Oak barrels where it takes on its spice accents. The final blend and resting of both components for several months is a key step in a recipe that imbues the still-crisp acidic fruit with considerable aromatic depth and range. It’s also the measurable distinction for how Chenin Blanc develops a more rounded flavour profile in SA; contrasting the leaner versions that are fashioned in its native France, where it’s known as Pineau de la Loire.

The striking embossed symbol acting as a label combines an ethnic flourish with the Latin term Vinum (wine) and was conceived as an expression of the positive political, historical and social progression in a revitalizing South Africa. Proudly playing out their part, the passion, and care of these vintners is palatable in the glass. This is a lovely layered wine, offered at a very reasonable price-point and we’re very fortunate to have access to some of the limited cases from the 2015 vintage!

Vinum Africa

VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC 2015
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #739995 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: Stellenbosch, South Africa
By: The Winery of Good Hope
Release Date: March 4, 2017

Tasting Note
Medium-bodied, fragrant and dry, try serving this zesty wine with Mediterranean dishes, grilled vegetables of all sorts, sushi or as a compliment to Asian cuisine. It’s also very satisfying as an apéritif with goat cheese canapés or onion tarts.

Western Cape Rosé

Both a designated coastal wine region and historical center, the dynamic town of Stellenbosch lies 50km inland of Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape. Three centuries on in time and toil; from the first planting of grapevine in 1690 by Dutch and Huguenot settlers — an under-developed plot of land that local farmers had dismissed as vuilplasie (‘dirty little farm’) was gradually converted to vineyard. Launching with a fledgling vintage of white wine in 1992, the ever-evolving Mulderbosch winery has seen a number of development phases, both in its properties and its wine crafting talent. Star vintner Mike Dubrovnic led the enterprise through a period of expanded profile, and now under Adam Mason’s creative winemaking guidance it continues to contribute to South
Africa’s revival as a reliable source of very affordable, terroir-distinctive wine.

This week’s DéClassé featured varietal Rosé is made from the so-called Don of red wine grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon. With distinctively compact blackberries and a thick-skin, Mulderbosch harvests these somewhat earlier than if it were destined to be finished as a full red wine. This particular practice of fashioning Rosé yields naturally higher levels of acidity, minerality, and brightness to the bottled aromas of the fruit. Exploiting a local geographic advantage, their vines are planted in well-drained valley terrain below the Cape Fold mountain range, where the surrounding hills funnel cooling breezes into the vineyard; helping attenuate the sometimes grape-wilting heat of South African summers.

mulderbosch-vineyard

This impressive 78-hectare farm has come a long way in a quarter century. Along with attaining critical and commercial success, the eco-friendly farming strategies that they’re employing qualify it as Certified Sustainable. Moreover, sections of the property have been dedicated to conservancy; including rehabilitation of wetlands; better ensuring that the biodiversity of indigenous vegetation and wildlife will continue to thrive.

Local rumor has it that, once upon a time, only Mozart was played in the cellar during the cool fermentation processing of the grapes; perhaps imparting some layered finesse and playful sophistication into the developing wine! True or not, a great deal of investment by the vintner has been directed into this attractively priced, and unique bottling – that should translate into you picking up at least 3!

Mulderbosch

MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2015
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #999821 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in South Africa
By: Mulderbosch
Release Date: May 11, 2016

Tasting Note
This is a dry, medium-bodied Rosé that’s full of delightful lip-smacking acidity. With cherry, ripe strawberry and pomegranate flavours, serve this well-chilled to preserve its crispness. Substantial on its own as an apéritif or along with summer citrus-laced salads, Thai spring rolls, sushi or asparagus Quiche.

Western Cape Chenin Blanc

With some justified claim to being one of the Cape’s renowned white grape varieties, the plucky, old, and gnarly bush vines that produce Chenin Blanc thrive, unirrigated, in this dryland region’s crushed granite soils. Challenged by these conditions, the long-lived rootstock has learned to burrow deeply; drawing on the mineral-rich nutrients and moisture that have percolated downward in the rocky terrain. As is often the case with grapevine, environmental stresses promote the development of more characterful fruit; invested with a nuanced layering of flavours. The desirable combination is evident in this DéClassé featured bottling of a historically unheralded, though now renascent, Chenin Blanc wine style. Well suited to the temperate terroirs of the continent’s southernmost tip, this vintner has aptly and evocatively named the offering, Vinum Africa.

Comprising 20% of South Africa’s total cultivation and output, the winelands of the Stellenbosch region in the Western Cape continue to rise in the competitive ranks of reputation; in the country and internationally. Blessed with a diversity of microclimates and soil composition, its potential was first recognized by French Huguenots who arrived in the 1690’s and immediately began planting vines. The somewhat younger, ocean-facing vineyards of the Winery of Good Hope lining the lower slopes of the Helderberg (bright mountain), are one cornerstone of a farming enterprise that’s at the creative forefront of exploiting the advantages of a dynamic wine region, and its motivated cadre of world-class winemakers.

helderberg

Hands-on harvesting, manual sorting, and careful selection lead the production process where natural fermentation of the grapes takes place in stainless steel tanks. While a majority of the harvest is left to linger on the expired yeast (lees), infusing the batch with some subtle toasty notes, the other 30% is transferred to mixed generations of Oak barrels where it takes on its spice accents. The final blending and resting of both components for several months is a key step in a recipe that imbues the still-crisp acidic fruit with considerable aromatic depth and range. It’s also the measurable distinction for how Chenin Blanc develops a more rounded flavour profile in SA; contrasting the leaner versions that are fashioned in its native France, where it’s known as Pineau de la Loire.

The striking symbol acting as a label combines an ethnic flourish with the Latin term Vinum (wine) and was conceived as an expression of the positive political, historical and social progression in a revitalizing South Africa. Proudly playing out their part, the passion and care of these vintners is palatable in the glass. This is a lovely layered wine, offered at a very reasonable price-point and we’re fortunate to have access to some of the 2,600 cases from the 2013 vintage!

Vinum Africa

VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #739995 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: Stellenbosch, South Africa
By: The Winery of Good Hope
Release Date: March 19, 2016

Tasting Note
Medium-bodied, fragrant and dry, try serving this zesty wine with Mediterranean dishes, grilled vegetables of all sorts, sushi or as a compliment to Asian cuisine. It’s also very satisfying as an apéritif with goat cheese canapés or onion tarts.

Cabernet Rosé Alert

A designated coastal wine region and historic town, Stellenbosch lies 50km east
of Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Three centuries onward
in time and toil from the first vine stock having been planted by European settlers
in 1690, a small, under-developed plot of land that local farmers had dismissed
as vuilplasie (dirty little farm) was gradually converted to a vineyard. Having begun
with a fledgling white wine vintage, the still-evolving Mulderbosch winery has seen
a number of development phases of both its properties and wine crafting talent.
Star vintner Mike Dubrovnic led the enterprise through a noteworthy period of
expanded profile for the brand and now under Adam Mason’s creative guidance,
it continues its significant contribution to South Africa’s revived reputation as a
reliable source of very affordable, terroir-distinctive, world-class wine.

This varietal Rosé is made from the so-called Don of red grapes – the compact,
black berries of the thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon. Harvested somewhat
earlier than if destined to be finished as a full red wine, this particular practice
of fashioning Rosé yields naturally high levels of acidity, minerality and brightness
to the bottled aromas of the fruit. Exploiting a geographic advantage, the vines
are planted in well-drained terrain lying in sheltered valleys below the Cape Fold
mountain range. Cooled by a wind tunnel effect between the surrounding hills,
the resulting breezes guard against the potentially, grape-wilting summer heat.

This very dynamic 78-hectare farm has come a long way in a quarter century.
Along with attaining critical and commercial success, the eco-friendly farming
strategies employed qualify it as Certified Sustainable. Moreover, sections of the
property have been dedicated to nature conservancy that includes rehabilitation
of wetlands – better ensuring that the biodiversity of indigenous vegetation and
wildlife will also continue to thrive.

Local rumor has it that only Mozart was played in the winemaking cellar during
the cool fermentation process of the grapes, perhaps imparting some layered
finesse and playful sophistication into the developing wine! True or not, a great
deal of investment by the vintner has been directed into this attractively priced
bottling, which should translate into you thinking of picking up at least 3!

Mulderbosch

MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2014
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #999821 | 750 ml bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Coastal Region, South Africa
By: Mulderbosch
Release Date: May 30, 2015

Tasting Note
This is a dry Rosé that’s medium-bodied, full of lip-smacking acidity with ripe
apple, watermelon, strawberry flavours and aromas. Serve this well chilled to
preserve its crispness as an apéritif or alongside summer salads, vegetable
spring rolls, sushi or quiche.

Chenin Blanc Alert

With some justified claim to becoming one of the Cape’s greatest white grape
varieties, the plucky, old and gnarly bush vines which produce Chenin Blanc do
so well because of their ability to thrive in this region’s arid, unirrigated, crushed
granite soils. Compelled by the dryland conditions, the root stock burrows deeply,
seeking moisture and mineral-rich nutrients. As is often the case with grapevine,
the stresses, counter-intuitively, promote development of characterful fruit with
more-nuanced layers of flavour in the finished wines. That’s certainly the case in
this week’s DéClassé recommended bottling of a historically overlooked though
now resurgent white, varietal style from this continent’s southernmost tip: the
aptly and evocatively named Vinum Africa.

Comprising 20% of South Africa’s total cultivation and output, the winelands of
the Stellenbosch region in the western cape continue to rise in the competitive
ranks of reputation, both locally and internationally. Blessed with a diversity of
micro-climates and soil composition, its potential was first recognized by French
Huguenots who arrived in the 1690’s and immediately began planting vines. The
somewhat younger, ocean-facing vineyards of the Winery of Good Hope line the
slopes of Helderberg (bright mountain) and are a dynamic farming enterprise at
the forefront of creatively exploiting this emerging, wine making terroir.

Hands-on harvesting, manual sorting and selection lead a careful production
process where fermentation of most of the grapes takes place in the coolness
of stainless steel tanks. While it’s left to linger in the expired yeast (on its lees),
infusing the batch with some subtle, toasty hints, the other 30% is transferred
into Burgundian Oak barrels where it takes on its spiced accents. Final blending
of both components is the recipe key which allows for a balance of freshly acidic,
still-crisp fruit endowed with considerable aromatic depth.

The striking symbol acting as label, combines an ethnic flourish with the latin
term Vinum (wine) and was conceived as an expression of the positive political,
historical and social progression in a revitalizing South Africa. Proudly playing
out their part, the passion and care of these vintners is palatable in the glass.
This is truly a lovely, layered wine, offered at a very reasonable price-point.

Vinum Africa

VINUM AFRICA CHENIN BLANC 2012
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #739995 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD

Made in: Stellenbosch, South Africa
By: The Winery of Good Hope
Release Date: May 16, 2015

Tasting Note
Medium-bodied, fragrant and dry, try serving this zesty wine with Mediterranean
dishes, grilled vegetables of all sorts, sushi or as complement to Asian cuisine. It’s
also satisfying as an apéritif with goat cheese canapés.

Rosé Alert

Stellenbosch is both a designated wine-producing district and historic town in
South Africa’s Western Cape Province. About 50km east of Cape Town, it dates
back to 1679 when it was founded by the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony
Simon van der Stel. The vines here are planted in well-drained hilly terrain, with
most vineyards lying in sheltered valleys below the Cape Fold mountain range.
The first of this regions vine stock was planted by Huguenot settlers in 1690.
Three centuries later in 1989, an unassuming plot of land that the locals had
dismissed as being ‘vuilplasie’ (dirty little farm) was gradually converted. From
its fledgling vintage of white wines onward, the Mulderbosch winery under the
creative guidance of Mike Dobrovic, has significantly contributed to developing
South Africa’s reputation as a source of world-class wine.

This varietal Rosé is made from the so-called ‘Don’ of red grapes – the compact
black berries of the thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon (89%) with small dashes
of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Harvested somewhat earlier than if destined to
be finished as full red wine, this practice imparts naturally higher levels of acidity,
minerality and brightness to the aromas of the fruit. These resulting qualities
also benefit from a geographic advantage whereby the vines are cooled by a
wind tunnel effect between the surrounding hills, offsetting the often wilting
summer climate. Undoubtedly though, this very dynamic 48 hectare farm has
come a long way in a mere quarter century. Along with attaining critical and
commercial success, the eco-friendly farming strategies employed qualify it as
Certified Sustainable. Moreover, 25% of the property has been dedicated to a
nature conservancy, ensuring that the bio-diversity of indigenous vegetation and
wildlife also continue to thrive.

Apparently, local rumor has it that only Mozart is played in the wine-making cellar
during the cool fermentation process – perhaps imparting some added finesse
and sophistication! All in all, a great deal of investment has been directed into
this modestly priced bottling, which should translate into getting at least 2 – as a
colourful contribution to your upcoming Mothers’ Day celebrations!

Mulderbosch

MULDERBOSCH CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROSÉ 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #999821 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 12.95
13.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Coastal Region, South Africa
By: Mulderbosch
Release Date: May 10, 2014

Tasting Note
This is a dry Rosé that’s medium-bodied, full of lip-smacking acidity with ripe
apple, watermelon, strawberry flavours and aromas. Serve this well-chilled to
preserve its crispness as an apéritif or alongside salads, quiche, vegetable
spring rolls and sushi.