News and Events: Trophy and Top 10 for Durbanville Hills wines
In a spectacular moment, Durbanville Hills Wines has been awarded as one of the Top 10 Most Successful Producers and achieved the Grand Roche Trophy (and a gold medal) for Best White Blend for the Tangram White 2018 at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2020.
This year the competition received 747 entries from 161 producers and despite the challenges posed by the drought, highlighted the exceptional quality of premium wines on the market.
The Tangram White 2018 is an elegant blend of 76% Sauvignon Blanc and 24% Semillon and the cool climate location of Durbanville, is evident in the stylistic composure of this well-balanced wine.
Aromas of fresh citrus, orange blossom, summer berries and a mix bowl of fresh fruit combine effortlessly with hints of lime and minerality. The mouth feel is rich and creamy with concentrated complexity, sweet wood spice, tropical fruit and hints of melon, and minerality. The finish is fresh and lingering.
Cellar Master Martin Moore says the Tangram is no ordinary wine.
“A Tangram is a Chinese geometrical seven-piece puzzle which can be arranged to make various forms and pictures to tell a story. Our seven pieces comprise the four elements (earth, wind, fire, water) and our three winemakers combining to create a wine that is indeed greater than its parts.”
“And this philosophy has truly come alive during the drought. Although the harvest delivered smaller berries, the flavour was intense and the cooler weather during harvest time, relieved some pressure on the vines and resulted in exceptional quality grapes.”
Moore says the wine is really special to the winemaking team and every effort was made to truly hand-make this wine.
“We used satellite technology to identify the premium spots in each block and only grapes from these locations were harvested. To ensure gentle handling of the grapes during harvest, we hand-selected a dedicated team to pick the grapes in the early morning. Although far more labour intensive, we believe that this approach has allowed us to make a careful selection of the best fruit in the vineyard.”
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were selected from three vineyard blocks on the southern slopes where the valley opens up towards the West Coast. The majority of the grapes were sourced from a 31-year old bush vine block, shielded from the wind on the lower slopes, and delivered a classic and mineral character to the wine. The two 16-year-old trellised vineyards higher up on the hill where the vines are cooled by the south-easterly breezes blowing in from nearby False Bay, supplied the more typical fruity aromas.
The Semillon block was planted in 1996 in the cool heart of the valley, where the vines are known to contribute to the fullness on the palate.
In the cellar the grapes were crushed and allowed to cold settle for three days, with lees stirring once a day. The clean juice was first racked to a stainless-steel tank and inoculated with a selected yeast strain, before fermentation was completed in barrel.
“We chose the selection of wood carefully – we wanted the wood to add depth but not overpower the fruit aromas and fresh acidity. To this end we selected a combination of new and old French oak barrels and matured the wine for 10 months with regular stirring to add complexity to the blend. After maturation, we spent a number of days sampling and selecting the best barrels for the final blend.”
The flagship The Tangram was launched in a White and Red blend to showcase the creativity and exceptional skill of the winemaking team. The Tangram is a Chinese geometrical puzzle consisting of five triangles, a square and a rhomboid, which can be arranged to make various forms and pictures to tell a story. To master the Tangram, one has to look at the whole puzzle to understand and form the myriad of images to be shaped.
The Tangram White 2018 retails for R375 and is available online from www.vinoteque.co.za