#293 Oldenburg CL Red Blend 2021
🔬 Wine of Origin Banghoek. Merlot vines are planted in two blocks at an altitude of 350m and 330m respectively. Both blocks are planted on a north-easterly slope. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon are both crushed prior to fermentation, while the merlot is left as whole berries. There were three punch downs per day, and when fermentation was completed, the grapes were basket pressed into stainless steel tank, where the wine underwent malolactic conversion. The resultant wine was matured in oak barrels for 16 months, of which 26% of those barrels were new oak.
Composition: 54% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon & 7% Cabernet Franc
| Alc 14.3% | RS 2.9g/L | TA 5.6g/L | pH 3.58 |
VIDEO CHAPTER INDEX:
00:00 – MERLOT’S TROUBLED CHILDHOOD
02:48 – MEET WINEMAKER NIC VAN AARDE
03:49 – WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR OLDENBURG
04:30 – SOME STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OLDENBURG TERROIR
07:02 – THE OLDENBURG CL WINE LABEL EXPLAINED
07:42 – WHAT DOES THE WINE TASTE AND SMELL LIKE?
A GEM WITHIN A CROWN
It’s no secret that the HanDrinksSolo team are big fans of the elevated wine ward of Banghoek, nestled up in Stellenbosch’s Helshoogte. The setting carries as much mystique as it does natural beauty, and the wines coming out of the region embody that same spirit.
Oldenburg is a particularly shiny example of the sort of joys that Banghoek has to offer in that it has managed to achieve the rare combination of an incredibly gifted winemaker, a supremely distinct little patch of land, and an owner and benefactor who wants to achieve excellence long before he achieves opulence. In case it wasn’t obvious, this makes the Oldenburg well worth exploring.
Winemaker Nic van Aarde is no stranger to accolades, as his work at Warwick Estate earned them international renown for their Bordeaux cultivars, with particular focus Cabernet Franc. At Oldenburg, Nic has continued to show his prowess in that genre, with both their main range Merlot and their Cabernet Franc showing particular promise. But aside from his usual tricks, Nic has also been forced to branch out into cultivars like Syrah, and Chenin (His Stone Axe Syrah doesn’t disappoint).
Today’s wine – the CL red blend 2022 – is a right bank-style Merlot-driven blend, that demonstrates the ease with which this little valley on a hill can deliver intensity without needing to throw its weight around. Of course, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll no doubt have to wait until you can get your hands on a bottle to know what we’re talking about. Until that time, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:
👃🏼 A leafy entry, with classic merlot-driven mediterranean herbs, a fresh mint. The fruit is a mix of red cherry candy, and restrained blackcurrant fruit, with a subtle hint of pencil shavings, and cocoa dust on the aft.
👄 The palate is medium weighted with black currant upfront, and juicier red cherry fruit following after. Tannins are still quite youthful, and won’t have the integration of an older vintage, but still form an adequate frame to couch the pleasingly persistant fresh blackcurrant and cherry fruit.
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