Nestled in the south-facing slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, just a short 45 minute drive from Cape Town, is Vondeling Wines, who bring us the newest additions to our ever-expanding South African range. The Voor-Paardeberg region is seemingly unspoilt and incredibly picturesque, with breathtaking views of mountains and vineyards in every direction from Vondeling’s mountainside vantage point. Conservation is therefore a priority for the vineyard in order to help preserve the indigenous flora and fauna species unique to the area, including endemic fynbos species Babiana Noctiflora, Erica Hippuris, Oscularia Paardebergenis and Serruria Roxberghii.
They own approximately 100 hectares of vineyard land, with plantings split roughly 50/50 between red and white varietals. We have chosen to include 3 of the Vondeling wines in our South African collection, and we think you’re going to like them as much as we do…
Babiana is named after Babiana Noctiflora, a rare species of fynbos found only on the Paardeberg Mountain. Its delicate yellow flower releases its scent in the evenings to attract moths for pollination. The blend consists of 64% Chenin Blanc, 19% Viognier, 8.5% Roussanne and 8.5% Grenache Blanc. The fullness of the Chenin is tempered by the verve and high aromatics of the Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne. The grapes are partially fermented with skin contact using indigenous yeasts in 500L French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation and 10 months lees ageing before bottling ensures a rich texture and complex flavour profile.
Winemaker Matthew Copeland describes is as follows “The wine has a pale, straw-like yellow colour with a bright green hue. The nose gives great tension and poise brimming with roasted almonds, sweet cashew, Turkish delight, lime zest, apricot and orange marmalade, wild honey and pineapple. Fresh, vibrant and textured palate with weighted density and length. Layers of rolled oats, white pepper, floral jasmine, mint, ginger and creamy lemon meringue aptly supported by subtle and reserved oak presence.”
Vondeling bring you a complex and sensuous Bordeaux blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 2% Malbec from the Voor-Paardeberg region in the Western Cape. The label features a different rare Paardeberg flower each vintage, with the 2015 vintage featuring Pauridia capensis, beautifully illustrated by artist Edwina Ellis. The grapes are selected from low-yielding vineyards where quality is prioritised over all else. Cold soaking the de-stemmed grapes allows gentle colour extraction and a long, cool fermentation with ambient yeasts ensuring maximum complexity and preventing the loss of the more delicate notes in this bold wine. Malolactic fermentation in 300L French oak barrels reduces harsh malic acid levels and the oak integrates seamlessly, whilst adding sumptuous texture to the wine. If that wasn’t enough for you this is followed by 14 months lees ageing, with only the best 10 barrels being selected for a further 8 months maturation. Of those 10, only 5 are selected for the final blend, which then are bottle aged for at least another 2 years before release!
Winemaker Matthew Copeland describes the style as follows “A deep, dark, vibrant red colour. A complex and sensuous nose of dark chocolate, black cherry, raspberry and sundried tomato. Beautifully infused with aromatic truffle, vanilla pod and subtle graphite undertones. The palate is dense and bold yet shows some lovely classic restraint. Ripe plum and lilted cassis lead with underlying layers of cured tobacco leaf, salted olives and expressive, broad tannin.”
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is full bodied, rich, elegant, smooth and abundant with fruit. A fragrant wine dominated by blackcurrant, liquorice and sweet cassis. 18 months maturation in 300L French oak barrels offers soft smoky, toasty notes and softens the black pepper vibrancy and lends an exotic lift to the nose.
Stick this beautiful liquid in a magnum and who wouldn’t want it on the table at a dinner party? Pairs well with lamb, beef, venison, ostrich, guinea fowl and blue cheese.