Groote Post winemaker, Lukas Wentzel, has been experimenting with Riesling since their maiden 2008 vintage, trying different styles, with each year providing a new learning curve. With Riesling you need to build character and complexity with a high acidity and significant residual sugar to give the wine some depth. They have achieved this with the 2015, where the sugar and acidity combine beautifully.
It will always be a challenge to make good Riesling in South Africa because of our climate, but we always thought Riesling would do well at Groote Post. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir do very well on our farm, and they prefer colder climates, so why shouldn’t Riesling have the same potential?” continues Lukas. At Groote Post many of the vineyards are planted high up on the slopes of the Darling Hills, where the cooling Atlantic sea breezes create ideal conditions for Riesling to thrive. Groote Post’s Riesling was grafted onto Cabernet Sauvignon that was struggling to ripen because the vineyard block is south-facing with an east-west row direction, and therefore has a cooler microclimate which suits Riesling. We learn everyday when it comes to winemaking, especially with Riesling. We believe we are almost there and that Groote Post will produce one of South Africa’s finest Rieslings.
GROOTE POST RIESLING 2015
The harvest: 2015 was a moderate year therefore less challenging so Lukas was able to capture the flavours Groote Post are looking for. Most years Riesling is the target of botrytis rot, but this year it escaped the rot due to the early harvest. The grape berries were much smaller than normal because of the very dry ripening season, contributing to an extremely healthy and concentrated vintage.
In the cellar: This was the first year in which the Riesling grapes were pressed as whole bunches, to achieve a more elegant and balanced wine. Fermentation was stopped after 10 days by cooling the wine down to 6°C, resulting in a sweeter wine with a good acid balance. The wine was left on the lees for a month before bottling, to increase complexity and concentration.
Tasting notes: This elegant wine displays beautiful rose petal, grapefruit and pineapple aromas. The palate is fresh and somewhat exotic, abounding with spice and ginger. The wine has a long, lingering mid-palate with generous acidity carrying the wine through to the end.
Food pairings: Intensely aromatic and flavourful with naturally high acidity, Riesling is an amazingly versatile food-friendly wine. It goes so well with Eastern dishes, mild curries and Thai and Vietnamese food. It also pairs well with richer foods such as pâtés and terrines, duck and roast pork, and is ideal to enjoy with desserts like fruit tarts and pecan nut pie, as well as cheese.
When to drink: Drinking beautifully now but will develop complexity and concentration with a few years in the bottle.
Retail price: Groote Post Riesling 2015 is available nationally at leading liquor retailers at ±R79.
Groote Post produces a wide selection of well-loved wines. “The Riesling has been a great addition to our range of wines, being an unusual variety and the only semi-sweet wine in our portfolio. Each year our Riesling fan base is growing, so we must be doing something right”, says Groote Post co-owner Nick Pentz.
A VISIT TO GROOTE POST
Groote Post, the beautiful farm owned by the Pentz family, entices wine aficionados, gastronomes and nature-lovers alike to escape on a country meander and head up the West Coast for a day to remember. With a wide arrange of ever-popular wines, an award-winning restaurant serving modern country cuisine, a private game camp, monthly country markets in the summer, spectacular views and nature walks, a visit to Groote Post is certainly a must. Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the historic Groote Post farm presents a rustic and rural atmosphere with undulating hills, vast open spaces and warm country hospitality.
Groote Post is one of the few wine cellars, let alone wineries with restaurants, open on Sundays in the Darling district and surrounding wine routes.