What We Say 2004 Classique - Bordeaux Style Blend
EXCEPTIONAL QPR & EXCLUSIVE WINE!:
Today’s wine is an exclusive selection and is also a tremendous QPR value. Being rated int he Top 10 Red Blends from South Africa and at over 20% off, this is a wine to stock up on.
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Mission Codename: Good Hope for Great Wine
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of a Top South African Red Blend
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Eikendal Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2004 Classique Bordeaux Style Blend
Winemaker: Henry Christo Kotze
Eikendal Vineyards, located in South Africa’s Coastal Region, and specifically the Stellenbosch WO, is well known for its exceptional Chardonnay but it is its red that are the local favorite. Stellenbosch WO, arguable the country’s best wine regions, is located just east of Cape Town. Its unique soil comprised of granite, alluvial and Table Mountain sandstone coupled with its warm dry growing season produces an environment ideal for both white and red grape varieties.
While, many consider these wines more contemporary, wine making in South Africa dates back to the early 1700s when the French arrived. Since then, both production and quality have steadily increased resulting in some exceptional wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple with a dark, almost black but clear core. Garnet edges ring the glass and when swirled, this slightly viscous wine leaves evenly spaced fat legs that creep down the edges.
Smell – Bold and intense aromas of new oak, licorice and sweet pine that are layered over its black-fruit components. Hints of spice, pepper and a touch of dark chocolate also emerge add to the complexity of the nose of this wine.
Feel – Smooth and almost velvety soft (easy acidity) with a rich dry texture. Full-bodied and well structured with firm, but very fine tannins and a hint of spice on the tip of the tongue.
Taste – Well integrated flavors of blackberries, ripe plums and black-cherries that are balanced against its oak and spice with complex notes of licorice, white pepper and tobacco.
Finish – This wine finishes long and smooth with great flavors of its ripe black-fruit and plums along with hints of spice and oak.
Conclusion – The Eikendal Classique is a delicious Bordeaux style blend (82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Cabernet Franc) and at the price is also an exceptional QPR value. Big, bold and rich in flavor and aroma with a structure that will allow this wine to age gracefully and continue to develop, this is a wine that belongs in your both your cellar and on your table. After tasting this wine, we are sure you’ll agree that this is a top blend deserving of its recent honor.
Today we head down to South Africa’s Coastal Region WO (Origin of the Wine), and more specifically, the Stellenbosch WO. This region encompasses the areas just northwest and east of Cape Town and represents the most of the wines imported into the United States.
South Africa, given its trade connections to Europe, shows a tremendous balance between new-world styles as well as old-world tradition. Since the late 1990s, South Africa has become tremendously popular for producing exceptional wines that are also value oriented.
Today’s selection, from Swiss-owned Eikendal Vineyards clearly represents this only-world/new-world balance. While the winery is well know in export markets for its top-notch Chardonnay, locals know Eikendal for its reds. The Classique is their Bordeaux styled blend and recently was awarded the honor of being among the Top Ten Red Blends from South Africa. Eikendal also has a secondary label, Duc de Berry.
A view of the Eikendal lodge
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Eikendal Vineyards in Stellenbosch can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards and Accolades:
Top 10 South African Bordeaux Blends – Calyon Trophy 2008
About This Wine:
Eikendal Classique is an elegant, well-balanced Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Marvellous full flavours are entwined throughout, with strains of oak, spice, chocolate, tobacco and mint, all leading to a very smooth finish. It shows a rich, well-structured body, and fine tannins.
Eikendal Classique is delicious right now, although newly bottled, shows an excellent shows potential for maturation during the next 5 – 10 years.
Food Pairings: This wine is best matched to red meats, leg of lamb, wild game, vegetables that are roasted or grilled with olive oil, herbs and garlic and fine cheeses.
Vinification: The grapes were brought in when perfectly ripe. A careful selection was then made so that only the best found their way into the wine cellar. The bunches of grapes were destemmed, and then delicately crushed to extract the juice. Each grape variety was vinified separately. The wine was next aged 24 months in new French oak barriques (according to the specific style that was being sought) and received a great deal of special cares: racking, clarification and occasionally filtering. Once this ageing has brought out the wine’s aroma, it was bottled, and thereafter aged slowly for another year in the bottle.
THE SUPER PREMIUM EIKENDAL RANGE
The acclaimed unwooded Chardonnay, Janina, named after the owners’ first granddaughter, teams up with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Semillon, Sparkling Wine (Brut) Blanc and Noble Late Harvest in the Eikendal Super Premium Label range. The international and national wine awards & accolades for these super premium wines serve as testament of Eikendal‘s commitment to high quality.
About The Winery:
Owned by the Swiss family, Saager, since 1981, Eikendal is a distinct landmark of the renowned Stellenbosch Winelands a popular wine destination in the Cape’s premier wine region known for its international acclaim in producing world-class wines.
Nestled on the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains better known as the famed ‘golden slopes’ of South Africa’s red wine production, Eikendal flourishes in its quintessential terroir where fertile soil compositions and the cool ocean breezes of the nearby Atlantic, naturally intertwine to create super premium wines.
Fringed by towering oaks and stone pines our striking barrel-vaulted cellar was one of the first in the Cape to combine traditional and modern elements thereby creating a new South African style of winery architecture and wines. Eikendal comprises 70ha (173 acres) of cultivated vineyards, 60% of which are reds (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot) and 40% are white varieties (Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc and Semillon). The overall average production is 350 000 bottles of wine per annum.
About The Winemaker:
Henry Christo Kotzé was born in King Williams Town, in the Eastern Cape, and grew up in a small town named Stutterheim, not far away. At a young age his family moved to Stellenbosch, where he furthered his schooling with a B. Sc degree in Oenology and Viticulture, specializing in Oenology, at the university of Stellenbosch.
After graduating in the top of his class, he started as assistant winemaker at Boschendal and Vergelegen. In September 2001 he joined Neil Ellis at his cellar in Jonkershoek and, in conjunction with Neil, made numerous award-winning wines.
He is a proud father of a boy and a girl, and in between working and judging at wine shows, he and his wife like to spend time with friends and family, go on nature walks, do some mountain biking or just be in the outdoors for a weekend or two. Henry also likes golf, fishing, and to keep in shape with a good game of squash. His favourite dishes include a good medium to rare sirloin, a crispy Greek salad and an excellent bottle of full bodied red wine.
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), Cabernet Franc (18%)
Sugar: 2.95 g/l
Total acid: 5.03 g/l
Alcohol: 14.80 vol%