Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard
Experience 4.0 Stellenbosch Wine 4.0

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Monday 6 March 2017

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

Delaire Graff brought just 4 wines for the regular Monday evening tasting at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town. Four wines – two whites and two reds – from the 15 wines that the estate produces were enough to provide a sample of the range. Delaire Graff is a beautiful and historic wine estate, worthy of special visit, North-East of Stellenbosch. It was acquired by Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds International, in 2003.

The Cabernet Franc Rosé was the perfect appetiser. It was one of the palest pink Rosés I have seen. Unsurprisingly so, as the grape skins are left in contact with the juice for just 4 hours. It was everything a Rosé should be for drinking without food on a still, crystal-clear, summers evening: elegant, chilled, lightly fruity, crisp and dry with a nice finish.

The Chenin Blanc packed a more fruity punch, balanced by a mild oakiness from 10 months in oak barrels. It was fresh too with notes of citrus fruits and honey.

The guests were clearly enjoying the red wines and so I asked Maggie, the host, if I could sample the first red. It looked like a Rhône blend from the shape of the bottle. It was, however, a Shiraz and my favourite wine of the tasting. The dark fruit notes were more violet and lavender than many Shiraz I have tasted and with a milder spiciness of peppercorn. I liked the soft, rounded tannin on the palate too. This is one bottle I shall look out for when I visit Delaire Graff for a full tasting. I read after that the Shiraz is from the ‘entry’ Luxury Range!

The Cabernet Sauvignon-led Bordeaux blend was nearly double the price of the Shiraz as befitting a wine from the mid-level (!) Premium Range. It was not twice as good. Sadly, the law of diminishing returns applies to wines as much as to any commodity. I felt the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated too much and that the wine was a trifle over-blended. As a result, it had neither the charm nor uniqueness of a single variety or the full complexity of a blend.

Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable and successful mini-tasting. The guests soon dispersed as the wine ran out early. I shall look forwards to lingering a little longer over a full glass of the Shiraz when I visit the vineyard for second tasting.

Wines tasted (bought *):


2015 Swartland Reserve Chenin Blanc – R149


2016 Cabernet Franc Rosé – R90


2015 Shiraz – R95
2015 Botsmankop Bordeaux Blend (69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot, 3% Malbec) – R195



You Might Also Like

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Classic(al) to Barrique – De Morgenzon Hits all the Right Notes

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Red Chair in the Morning

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Late at Lateganskop

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Altitudes with Wine!

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Mutual Attraction

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Wines to Love on Love Street

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley


Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Great Value in the Swartland

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

It’s High Time Again

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

Beyond Expectation

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Iconic Steenberg

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

More Still at Tanagra

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

No Black Marks at Raka

Boutique de Brendel

Grand Wines at the Big Top!


Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford


More-ish Wines at Môreson

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

More than Just a Destination

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

On the Left, but then on the Right …

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Class in Glass at Glenelly


  1. Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble! – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] High Constantia Wine Cellar and at Glenelly Estate. I have even tasted a Cabernet Franc rosé, from Delaire Graff, but there were red wines only today. Cabernet Franc is one of my favourite wine […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *