Colour: Ruby garnet.
Bouquet: Aromas of white pepper, violets and plum with a veil of smoky oak. Taste: Medium â€“bodied, soft-textured , mouth-filling with spicy and smoky oak flavours that linger on the aftertaste.
The winemaker recommends serving this with robust dishes such as game poultry, venison and red meats.
Seven leading vineyard owners in the Durbanville Hills district joined together to create Durbanville Hills together with Distell in order to promote the regional individuality of this prime wine growing area, which boasts a temperate climate, with Atlantic sea breezes cooling the vines during the summer months. Grapes for this brand, which has already attracted widespread positive attention both in South Africa and abroad, are sourced only from these growers, all of whom fall under the limited appellation of Durbanville. All member vineyards subscribe to IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) growing practices, designed to sustain natural resources. They are dryland vineyards, encouraging a process of natural selection. In addition, a meticulous crop control is applied to further limit yields and promote concentration of varietal flavour.
Winemaker Martin Moore uses highly advanced cellar technology to ensure optimal extraction of colour and flavour. The vineyards (viticulturist: Bennie Liebenberg) The unique character of this wine lies in the influence of the different vineyards from which the grapes were sourced. The grapes were selected from various north-east facing, low-yield vineyards, mostly located around 250 m above sea level and grown in deep red soils with good water retention properties. Due to favourable weather conditions the 2003 crop was one of the largest since 1999. Minor problems were experienced with pests and diseases and the quality of the 2003 wines was excellent, due to a naturally high acidity and a low pH.
The grapes were harvested by hand in late February, just before shrivelling set in, when the tannins and fruit had reached optimum ripeness.
After cold maceration, the grapes were fermented and given extended maceration. Maximum fruit, colour and tannin extraction from the skins was made possible through continuous computer-regulated pump-over cycles. The fermenting juice was kept in oxygen-poor tanks, which remained closed, whilst the skins remained fully immersed during the entire fermentation and maceration period. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was matured for 12 months in small wood, using a combination of new and second and third-fill French and American oak.