Epicurean, Red Blend 750ml 2011South Africa, Stellenbosch
Made in the Rupert & Rothschild cellars by R&R winemaker Schalk-Willem Joubert, all the luxury boxes have been ticked. Grapes were sourced from the Stellenbosch Annandale property of Hempies du Toit with additional Merlot sourced from Durbanville and Cabernet from Darling, with 2003 the kind of maiden vintage dreamed of in wine marketing PR heaven.
Only eight barrels were made in the elegantly classic style preferred by the four partners. Natural fermentation of the grapes in stainless steel vats was followed by 25 days lees contact and then twenty months maturation in 225 litre French oak barrels (70% new, the remainder second fill) with frequent rackings.
No fancy imported bottles with designer-designer labels. A natural cork closed ('screw caps are not for us' insists Shilowa), bog-standard bottle with a simple matt white label and no indication of the terroir of the partners. In place of self promotion, the back label consists of a comment from Epicurus: 'we should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf.'
While the volumes produced will make no dent in the red wine lake, this new brand is an important milestone for South African wine.
Matured in 225l French bariques and 70% new oak 30% 2nd fill, about 17months on Oak.
|Drink To||Drink or cellar|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | TA: Tim Atkin MW | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WS: Wine Spectator