News and Events: Introducing the Durbanville Hills Merlot Potstill Brandy

It is with great pleasure that after 10 years of patient waiting, we can finally share the Durbanville Hills Merlot Potstill Brandy produced from cool-climate Merlot grapes, matured for 10 years in French oak, and finished in Durbanville Hills Merlot barrels. An unprecedented unique experience.

The Vision

11 years ago, over lunch at Durbanville Hills, Cellarmaster Martin Moore and Johan Venter, internationally acclaimed spirits connoisseur and brandy expert, decided that it would have been great to finish off lunch with a Durbanville Hills Brandy.

This was the genesis of a master vision that today sees fulfillment. And so, over many years, meetings, and tastings, we are proud to add the Brandy to our portfolio.

The Expectation

This beautiful brandy presents notes of mulberries, vanilla, glazed cherries & dried fruit, cinnamon, cedarwood, and mint.

From the first sip, savour flavours of raspberries, cherry fruit cake, milky chocolate, vanilla and subtle hints of thyme.

The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied, supported by a delicate lingering and well-balanced by integrated oak.

Non-chill filtered Durbanville Hills Brandy 38 vol % alcohol

A Brandy doesn’t go from still to barrel to bottle in pristine form. Along with sediment from the barrel, chemical compounds like fatty acids, proteins, and long-chain esters are present in the final product. In Brandies lower than about 46% ABV (some distillers believe the threshold is slightly higher), these chemical compounds create a cloudiness, or haze, when the whisky is chilled. The haze doesn’t pose any hazards to those who drink it, but for aesthetic reasons most distilleries choose to filter it out using a process called chill-filtration.

Chill-filtration is performed the way it sounds, by lowering the temperature of the Brandy to several degrees below freezing. At this temperature, the whisky is still liquid, and the haze-producing compounds have clumped together. The liquid is passed through a series of filters, made of materials ranging from paper to metal to crushed seashells, that trap all compounds larger than several microns. The amount of compounds and sediment removed depends on the number of filters, the speed at which the brandy passes through them, and the pressure at which it’s filtered.

In non-chill filtered brandies adding water or ice to it or exposing it to low temperatures will have the effect that it goes hazy.

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