#267 Hartenberg Tenacity Riesling 2019
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The History of Hartenberg and Riesling
Both Hartenberg and their winemaker, Carl Schulz, have a long history with Riesling. Hartenberg bottled their first Riesling in 1984; ten years before Carl joined the Hartenberg team, and Carl – for his part spent time early on in his career working at Simonsig under Frans Malan. Frans was considered to be “the father of Riesling” in South Africa; and was among the first to bottle the cultivar on its own. This all meant that when Carl came to Hartenberg, he was already in a privileged position of experience with the grape, and the vineyards themselves had already been maturing in the ground for quite some time; a delightful confluence of experience and potential.
Since then, Hartenberg have really tested Rieslings versatility by making a stainless steel-fermented riesling (in a dry style), a noble late harvest riesling (a dessert wine, made with botrytised grapes), and thirdly a bottling that the estate has labelled as “the Occasional Riesling”; a wine made in the more old-school/classic off-dry style that perhaps the previous generation would have been more used to.
In 2012, Hartenberg also launched the Riesling Rocks Festival, which really cemented their position as one of the foremost authorities on the cultivar in South Africa.
But today’s Riesling is none of those three! Today’s bottling is called the Tenacity Riesling, and is Hartenberg’s only barrel-fermented bottling of the cultivar. This wine is made in very small quantities – only 519 bottles made – and is one of the more serious examples of the cultivar in South Africa.
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 vanguard carries a rather moody nose of burnt honey, beeswax, peach fruit, some very subtle butter toffee, and a hint of cinnamon. Also, loads and loads and loads of orange citrus.
👄 The palate possesses an impressively waxy texture on the palate, which couches those elements of fresh cut seville oranges and some fresh sunshine-y nectarine fruit.
The acid really is very impressive, and that tart seville orange element runs right down the middle into a fairly long tail.
🔬 Fruit is sourced from Old Vine Riesling blocks in the Bottelary Hills. Only 519 bottles made in 2019. Wine was barrel-fermented.
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