In the most recent Mundus Vini Spring Tasting, De Grendel’s signature red wine, Rubaiyat, scooped yet another prestigious gold medal to add to its long list of accolades. The award-winning 2015 vintage already bagged one platinum, 3 golds, 1 double gold as well as the Trophy for the South African Wine of the Year from China Wine & Spirits Awards.
The Mundus Vini is regarded as a prestigious international competition for wines from all wine-growing regions around the world. The aim of the competition is to promote wine quality and to award wines of excellence. An international jury delivers an independent, neutral and expert verdict on the wines, thereby guaranteeing that the competition is both fair and professional. This bestows a high level of recognition upon the medals awarded at Mundus Vini, the prize-winning wines and their producers. For a wine to receive a gold medal, a minimum of 90 points should be awarded by the jury.
A long-held dream by the late Sir David Graaff to produce a first-class Bordeaux-style red blend, was realised in the spring of 2009 when the maiden 2006 vintage was released. The current 2015 vintage is a thoughtful construction of only the finest grapes by Cellar Master Charles Hopkins and consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc.
The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are situated in the Firgrove area, approximately 6 km from False Bay. The grapes are selected from specific sites focusing on lower yields, the age of the vines, and the soil types. The average berry weight of the selected vines is less than a gram, making them small and delivering excellent flavour concentration. The Cabernet Franc thrives in Cape coffee stone while the Merlot and Petit Verdot both perform well in weathered blue Durbanville shale.
The name Rubaiyat is the Persian word for a quatrain: a verse comprising four lines reflecting the four varietal components of the blend. Inspiration came from the Graaff family’s treasured copy, acquired by Sir David Graaff’s grandfather, of a 19th-century English translation of a lyrical poem by an 11th-century Persian astronomer and mathematician pondering on life’s great questions. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam covers more than 750 verses and the 2015 vintage of De Grendel’s Rubaiyat depicts one of the poem’s quatrains on its front label.
And much as Wine has played the Infidel,
And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour – well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.
Subsequent vintages will each bear another quatrain.
De Grendel Rubaiyat 2015 is available from De Grendel’s tasting room, online through their website at www.degrendel.co.za and at selected specialist wine shops countrywide at the recommended retail price of R350 a bottle.