Grenache shines in Momento’s latest release

Grenache shines in Momento’s latest release

‘Marelise Niemann has been pounding the Grenache drum since 2011 and has done as much as anyone to promote the variety.’ – Tim Atkin MW

Marelise Niemann is a quiet powerhouse when it comes to making smart wines that will last. The proof is in the tasting, as they say, and we recently tasted older vintages of her Momento Chenin Blanc/Verdelho that showed wonderful freshness, complexity and verve. The 2022 release is nuanced with florals and piquant pineapple, and that trademark balanced acidity for a long life.

Since going on her own in 2013, Grenache has become an increasing focus of her portfolio. The Momento Grenache Noir 2021 is her finest to date. From the thrilling 2021 vintage, it is absolutely stunning – showing delicate, backward, Pinot-like fruit and super-fine, persistent tannins. Bone-dry and elegant, it will age for decades.

As one of SA’s finest winemakers, Marelise has a no-nonsense approach with an emphasis on natural acidity to protect her pH levels. Her first solo vintage was two barrels of Grenache Noir, and her love affair with the grape has deepened; she now works with all three Grenache varieties. The Momento Grenache Blanc 2022 has an open fruit profile and a pithy, dry end, with the 7% Verdelho adding an acid backbone. The Momento Grenache Gris 2022 is something different and special, with grip and a hint of haunting red fruit. Both wines should only be broached in a year or so for the fruit to open up. A 2020 Gris tasted was sublime!

The other red in her portfolio is the Momento Tinta Barocca 2021 – a wine of character. Ripe and brooding yet taut, fresh and dry on the finish, it needs time and is wild in the best sense.

These limited, small-batch releases are among our favourites.

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