Hemel-en-Aarde is mainly known for Pinot Noir. The Cape winter demands something bigger, something bolder. Step in Rhone blends. A combination of the Rhone varietals: Syrah/Shiraz for colour and darker fruit flavours, Grenache for aging ability, Mourvedre for structure, Viognier for aroma and Cinsault for softness. Voila! You have red perfection ready for slow sipping. The dramatics of Rhone blends appeal to me. Popping the cork on a Rhone is like the nervous energy released before curtain call. My favourite Hermanus Rhone blends are:
Ataraxia 2011 Serenity. Focus on Shiraz with two other Rhone varietals. A true vins de cepage. An expression which I learnt from Kevin Grant, owner and winemaker at Ataraxia. Not revealing what the Serenity blend components and percentages are. Let it be. If it works it works. And this works splendidly. Ready-to-ride-off-into-the-sunset stuff. Also the last Serenity to reflect Rhone. Watch out for 2012. It will be different.
It only takes two to tango in the case of Creation’s Rhone Blend. Creation Syrah Grenache is dark purple in colour with ripe plum flavours. In true Creation style the proof is in the pairing and lamb is the match. A popular wine that never disappoints. The fan club continues to grow as this wine makes friends with everyone who takes a sip.
Domaine des Dieux offers a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre and this is enough. It is perfect with a smokey aroma and savoury flavour. You can match this wine with rich meat. Ever wondered why meat and red wine make such a great match? The dry tannins counteracts the fattiness of the meat and calibrates the palate. Nou kan ons braai!
Newton Johnson Full Stop Rock. With a name like Full Stop Rock you fortunately don’t hit rock bottom when you indulge in this integrated blend. Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache. Syrah takes a strong lead. Cherry and spice make this wine nice. More than. Much more than nice.
Wine goes perfectly with my hectic, upside down life that needs a balance. Hi-Yo Wine, Hi-Yo Silver!