Paying homage to more than 300 years of wine history and the distinctive blue-grey granite that gave the farm its original name, Blaauwklippen has released a classic Bordeaux blend in their range of premium red wines – De Blaauwe Klip 2017.
Blaauwklippen’s Stellenbosch terroir with its mineral-rich decomposed granite soils lends itself to producing superior red wines, and especially the traditional Bordeaux cultivars found in the estate’s single varietal range.
Blaauwklippen winemaker Narina Cloete said the “very promising” 2017 vintage prompted her to create De Blaauwe Klip, a classic five-way blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Merlot (24%), Cabernet Franc (14.5%), Malbec (14.5%) and Petit Verdot (9%), made to age for up to 20 years.
“Our Bordeaux blend has always been a top seller and a favourite of customers, and we decided it was time to release one again, paying homage to our roots, history and soils, and naming the wine for the original name of the farm,” Cloete said.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec vineyards are situated close to the Helderberg mountain range, on decomposed granite soils with a fine gravel or sand component, while the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot benefit from the good water retention properties of coarser decomposed granite and clay on the Stellenbosch mountain.
“Both pockets are ideal terroirs for slow ripening of red grapes to ensure phenolic ripeness and flavour concentration at harvesting,” she said.
The cultivars were hand-picked, destemmed and whole berry fermented separately in French oak and stainless-steel tanks, with prolonged skin contact for delicate extraction of tannins, colour and flavour. After malolactic fermentation, the batches were separately matured for 16 months in French oak (13% first fill) before blending and bottling.
Cloete said the dark cassis and cigar box flavours, with plummy chocolate pudding notes on the nose, make De Blaauwe Klip “a stunning wine for venison”, as well as hearty winter casseroles and braaied steak. The palate is vibrant with velvet tannins, a serious mid-palate and distinctive length.
De Blaauwe Klip 2017 is made for enjoyment now or cellaring from 5 to 20 years.
The wine is available at R195 from the farm or online at www.blaauwklippen.com and will soon be stocked in specialist wine stores.
More about Blaauwklippen:
Blaauwklippen is one of the original Stellenbosch estates and one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms, founded in 1682 by Gerrit Jansz Visser, with the first vineyards planted in 1688. The estate was a founder member of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, today one of the Western Cape’s major tourist attractions.
Launched in 1984, the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition is the only one of its kind in South Africa, aimed at consumers rather than producers, inviting wine-lovers to try out the art of wine blending for themselves.
The Blaauwklippen Family Market every Sunday is a popular winelands destination with an array of food, arts and crafts, live music, a monthly antiques fair, and the estate’s child-friendly facilities and activities. Blaauwklippen’s scenery and historic, romantic atmosphere have made it popular wedding venue.