#256 Olifantsberg Grenache Rosé 2022


00:20 – For the Map Geeks: Where is Olifantsberg Estate?
01:10 – A bit about Olifantsberg winemaker, Elizma Visser
02:05 – What does the Olifantsberg Grenache Rosé taste and smell like?
02:54 – What is an “academic” rosé?
03:40 – What is a “dirty ferment”?
04:10 – the importance of data in winemaking

A quaffer by any other name

Grenache Wines have largely been relegated to the genre of pool side quaffers. Sure, you may have one or two that get elevated to “Yacht Deck Quaffers”, or even “Provence Seaside Villa Quaffers”, but for the most part, it will always be a quaffer.
In recent times, there have been winemakers who have protested, and said, “By Jove, nay! Our rosés are serious!” And many times they have been right. And so a new genre of rosé was born; serious rosé. So we now have quaffing rosé and serious rosé. But then along came the supremely nerdy winemaking team from Olifantsberg, and they birthed the genre of “Academic Rosé”. In case you’re wondering what that might be like to drink, it tastes like a serious rosé, with a long finish, and subtle notes of intellectual stimulation.
And I suppose it should come as no surprise that this genre was coined by a winemaking team like the Olifantsberg duo of Elizma and Ferdi Visser; the former being an award-winning winemaker and viticulturist, and the latter being an incurable cellar science nerd (but also medal-winning winemaker).
Now, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:


👃🏼 The nose carries pleasant strawberry fruit, musk sweets, raspberry chewing candy, and a few zesty citrus notes.
👄  Mouthfeel with pleasant texture, cherry, blood orange, strawberry chews, hint of white pepper on the tail.


Wine of Origin Breedekloof. 100% Grenache Noir.
Three clones are used; 1064, which gives lovely floral elements, but also clones 513 & 70, which give a slightly more concentrated, structured result.
The grapes are picked at multiple ripeness levels, and fermented separately. Fermentation takes place in a combination of stainless steel tanks (60%) and old oak barrels (40%), with a wide range of NTU readings, ranging from “fairly clean”, through to super gnarly dirty juice with loads of solids”.
No malolactic conversion takes place, and the naturally high acid results in a super stable wine that needs no additional stabilisation additions. Light filtering prior to bottling.
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