This summer make every meal an occasion, every table more elegant and every day more civilized with a “delectable duo” from Vondeling Wines in the Voor-Paardeberg. This duo consists of a unique sparkling wine, the Vondeling Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015, and the very sexy Vondeling Rosé 2018.
Vondeling’s Rurale Blanc de Noir 2015 is made from whole-bunch pressed, organic (uncertified) pinotage grapes. The name Rurale is the original name for what was later recognized by the French A.O.C as Mèthode Ancestrale.
Natural fermentation begins in a stainless-steel tank. When only a small, but critical amount of sugar remains, the fermenting wine is bottled and capped. Bottling must take place at the precise moment when there is enough remaining sugar to create a healthy, vibrant mousse, but not so much as to cause the bottles to explode. This single, continuous fermentation, using fruit which is approximately three weeks riper than the base wine used to make Mèthode Cap Classique, is what makes Mèthode Ancestrale unique.
The wine is matured on its lees for 28 months before being disgorged. Autolysis of the yeast cells creates further richness and adds palate weight and creaminess in the wine. After being hand-riddled over a one-month period, it is disgorged and topped using Vondeling’s flagship wooded white blend Babiana from the 2013 vintage as an alternative to liqueur d’expedition.
“We love the implication that this is an uncomplicated, yet pure expression of both the grape and its origins,” explains Matthew Copeland, Vondeling’s winemaker. “Our Rurale Blanc de Blancs was the first Mèthode Ancestrale in SA to be certified by SAWIS, and Vondeling was instrumental in drafting its technical description in order for this new category to be recognised. It is a highly labour-intensive way to produce sparkling wine, and for this reason, only1,200 bottles were produced. All grapes are grown and vinified at Vondeling.”
He says the wine is crisp but not acidic, full but not sweet, complex but not coarse. It has a subtle blush of salmon pink and a persistent mousse. The nose is immediately inviting and flirtatious with an enchanting red berry bouquet, underpinned by subtle floral notes and a hint of sweet spice. The wine spent almost three years on the lees, which lends the wine palate weight and complexity. The bubbles are smooth, polished and supremely well integrated. It can be paired with an array of more fragrant dishes and lends itself to the early evening. Naturally, it is also the perfect celebratory wine to enjoy during the festive season.”
Cellaring of this wine will unlock more of the wine’s potential for the next 5 years.
The anchor vineyard for Vondeling’s 2018 Rosé is 20 years old. The grapes are picked at optimum ripeness in the early hours of the morning before being destemmed and chilled before pressing. This short route, from vine to press, ensures minimal degradation of the fruit aromas and a very moderate extraction of colour. All free-run juice is kept separate from the “colour fraction” to ensure a deliciously subtle salmon colour. The wine is 100% unoaked. A six-month period of maturation on the lees promotes richness and complexity.
“The wine has a delightful and delicate pink colour,” says Matthew. “It displays a bright bouquet of Turkish delight, raspberry coulis, passion fruit and litchi. The palate is well rounded but refreshingly vibrant, packed with red berry flavours, seductive floral undertones and a pleasant citrus twist. Pair with spicy Thai prawns, grilled Portuguese sardines or a fresh tomato, feta and pomegranate salad.
The Vondeling Rosé 2018 has already won Double Gold at the annual Rosé Rocks Competition and sells for R70 on the estate, while the Blanc de Noir costs R265 per bottle.
For more information, contact Vondeling at 021 869 8339 or email@example.com.