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Visit from Rust en Vrede

Last week, we were treated to a visit from Rust & Vrede’s Warren Granat-Mulder. On a short stopover from Europe, en route to the USA, Warren stopped by to catch up with the team and talk us through a selection of new vintages from the Jean Englebrecht portfolio. The reach of Jean’s wines have extended well beyond the famed Rust & Vrede estate to encapsulate the exclusive Donkiesbaai bottlings, The Stellenbosch Reserve and also the Guardian Peak labels.

Stars of the tasting included the great value, plush, fruit-forward and exceptionally generous Shiraz and Merlot releases from Guardian Peak together with just about every single wine under the Rust & Vrede label!

Reflecting a mere 10% of the estate’s plantings, the 2014 Estate Merlot was stunning and certainly the finest example the team had ever enjoyed, with its creamy, oak-tinged fruit cake flavours and ultra-fine tannins. The 2013 Estate Syrah was a real star, with intense violet and vanilla notes, incense and cherry flavours. 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, for which the estate has a huge following, showed black cherry, redcurrant and a concentrated yet beautifully-proportioned mouthfeel. It was lifted with bold, yet classic lines. A real knockout in 2014! Finally we moved on to the star of the portfolio. A wine which shines like a beacon for both winemaking prowess, history and ultimately, pedigree. The 2013 Rust & Vrede Estate Wine is a true reflection of the estate’s terroir, composed of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Shiraz and 11% Merlot. Seeing around 60% new oak, the wine was stunningly proportioned with a balance and lightness on the palate which rendered it seemingly weightless. The oak, though evident, enveloped the generous fruit to great effect. Ripe, integrated tannins offered fine grip and energy in the glass and lip-smacking freshness completed the experience. A finer, more compelling South African red blend you would be hard pressed to find – surely a ‘classed growth’ from the Cape.

Warren…  You are welcome back again whenever you are in town!!

Martin Wheatley, November 2016