#286 Old Road Wine Co. Stone Trail Chenin Blanc 2019
🔬 Wine of Origin Franschhoek. Fruit is harvested from a single dry-land farmed vineyard planted in 1982. It started out as a trellised vineyard, but, over the years, has been trained into a sort of trellised/bush vine hybrid. The vineyard sits up at 380m ASL.
In the cellar, grapes are left on skins overnight, before being racked into barrel for fermentation. After fermentation, the wine is matured for a further 9 months in older oak barrels.
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The Old ROAD WINE COMPANY is what happens when proper financial backing fuels a vision for greatness, tempered by a sense of earnest humility. While Old Road is owned by a big corporate – DBG (one of South Africa’s largest wine and spirit producers and distributors) the vision at Old Road Wine Company is anything but corporate. Their mandate seems to be purely about discovering incredible vineyards and telling their stories. So not unlike pioneering producers like Damascene wines…and perhaps also KWV’s Mentors, and even Wildeberg, the Old Road team really follow through on the well-worn adage that great wine starts in the vineyard.
Probably their most lauded wine is their Grand-Mere super-old Vine Semillon, sourced from the famous La Colline vineyards in Franschhoek, but more recently it was their 12-Mile Syrah that won the title of Best Shiraz at the 2023 Investec Wine Trophy Show. And again, this becomes somewhat less surprising when we learn that the wine was made with fruit from a Swartland vineyard located right next door to the now world famous Porseleinberg property. It’s hard to find something more distinctive than that. Although that doesn’t stop them from trying…
Because they also happen to have secured the rights to Franschhoek’s only certified old vine vineyard – a bizarre bush-vine-single-cum-single-wire-trellis-hybrid-type vineyard that is located at the top of an old worn stone trail; seated at a not inconsequential 380m ASL.
Now, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you won;’t be able to immediately experience what all these natural elements taste like in the glass, so until you find time to hunt this down yourself, I have left my tasting notes and some technical specs:
👃🏼 Slightly reticent nose of salty sea spray, a touch of honeysuckle, sweet mineral talc, and a hint of raw almonds.
👄 The palate is pleasantly concentrated, with a delightfully waxy and pithy texture, although the fruit elements are fairly restrained. There are hints of white stone fruit (nectarines and peaches), but the mouthfeel itself is almost chewy…something that I often detect on older vine wines. Although is it all psychological? The jury is still out. Only blind tasting well tell! The wine finishes off with a dry textured tail end of white grapefruit pith.
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