Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte
Experience 4.0 Stellenbosch Wine 3.5

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

REMHOOGTE WINE ESTATE
Saturday 16 September 2017
http://remhoogte.co.za/

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 3.5/5

I vowed at the Vineyard Hotel tasting of Remhoogte wines in late August that I would return to sample the full range at the estate. Today offered the perfect opportunity as my Cape Wine Academy Diploma training at nearby Morgenhof finished in the early afternoon.

Remhoogte

Remhoogte

The approach road off the R44 North of Stellenbosch was short with views of the rolling lower slopes of the Simonsberg and surrounding mountains. Zebra and wildebeest grazed in the green pastures below. I am told there are also bontebok and springbok but I did not see them.

Remhoogte

Remhoogte

Dating back to 1812, the name Remhoogte is from the Dutch that refers to brakes being applied to the wheels of ox wagons as they descended down the steep hills to Stellenbosch. The modern day estate began in 1994 when Murray and Juliet Boustred bought the property, restoring the buildings and planting vines. Son Chris has been the winemaker since 2007. Twenty-five hectares of the 55 hectare farm are under vine: Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage are grown. The wines that are separated into a Premium Range and a Reserve Range for tasting (R50 for 7 wines) are made from these cultivars or a blend of them.

Remhoogte

The Tasting Room, with superb views over the Stellenbosch Mountains, was mid-refurbishment and extension. It mattered not as I was visiting to taste the wines. Ian and Diaan did their best in trying conditions to keep all the guests content. I picked out the 2 Chenins Blanc to start. The First Lady wine showed good lemon, lime, pineapple and guava complexity. Made in stainless steel tanks in Sauvignon Blanc style and with just 10% oak maturation, it was crisper and less sweet than many I have tasted.

Remhoogte

Remhoogte

I had tasted the Honeybunch before and it remained my favourite wine. Shy warm lemon, greengage, ripe melon, and nougat aromas opened up in the glass. It showed great presence on the palate, smooth and refined, dry and with medium acidity, and with a lengthy finish.

Remhoogte

Remhoogte

The Pinotage Rosé was not listed on the Tasting Sheet but I was pleased to be able to taste. It showed the slight orange tint to the pale salmon colour that is characteristic of Pinotage rosés. I was able to pick out Pinotage aromas on the nose, unusually so, that contained juicier, sweeter strawberry and candy aromas than most rosés. I did not like the harsh dry acidity on the palate which was too sharp for easy drinking.

Remhoogte

Pinotage featured in the Chronicle Cape Blend, made with all the red grape varieties grown on the estate. The wine was juicy with good red to dark berry intensity even if lacking in complexity. It showed a similar acidic mouthfeel to the Rosé. The tannins, added to by 24 months maturation in 30% new French oak, were edgy, sour and not in balance.

Remhoogte

Remhoogte

Hunger was getting the better of me and I ordered a Gourmet Cheese Platter (R150). It was served on a board with garlic, rosemary and feta flatbread to go with the biscuits, range of 4 cheeses, olives, chilli and berry jam. There was more than I needed to eat and enough for 2 people.

Remhoogte

I gave the Merlot the same score as the Cape Blend. Named ‘Aspect’ because the grapes are planted on some of the highest and steepest slopes of the estate to take advantage of cool afternoon breezes, it was fuller in body than many a Merlot I have tasted. I liked the good intensity of blackcurrant and mulberry notes. It suffered, like the Cape Blend on the palate with a high acidity and green tannins that overpowered and imbalanced the fruit flavours.

Remhoogte

The Vantage Pinotage – from 2 hectares of bush wines with views over all the estate and into Stellenbosch – showed similar character to the Merlot: full in body; above average juicy aromas of loganberry, plum, mulberry and pepper spiciness; high acidity; high astringent tannins; and weak fruit flavours on the palate.

Remhoogte

Named after the great grandfather the owner, Sir Thomas Cullinan owned the mine in which the world’s largest diamond was found in 1905. Weighing in at a massive 3,106 carats the uncut diamond was bought by the Transvaal Government and given to the British Government. The real diamond was posted to England with a fake stone used as a decoy in a locked box. Today, it forms part of the Crown Jewels. The wine showed characteristic red to dark berry and clove aromas of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, blended in similar amounts, but suffered also with overpowering and acidic tannins.

Remhoogte

I much preferred the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that is not usually included for tasting. It showed above average complexity of aromas – juicy blackberry, ripe plum, black cherry – and had a much more integrated and balanced tannin structure than most of the other red wines. Softer tannins made for a better and longer finish.

Remhoogte

Remhoogte

In truth, I was disappointed by the wines at Remhoogte. I had liked those brought to the Vineyard Hotel but did not enjoy all here. I thought as to why on my journey back to Cape Town. The red wines all have a lengthy period of maturation in French oak – mostly 24 months in 30% new oak – and that may give a clue. They were mostly 2014 and 2015 vintage too that makes them young and having had little time for the tannins to develop. It could also be that I just do not enjoy the style if wine that winemaker Chris is making. There is nothing wrong with that of course and it is perhaps not possible to like every wine made on every estate. Meanwhile, I shall reserve final judgement until the wines have aged more.

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2016 Premium First Light Chenin Blanc – R75
2016 Honeybunch Reserve Chenin Blanc – R195 FAVOURITE WINE

Rosé:

2016 Estate Pinotage Rosé – R70

Red:

2014 Premium Chronicle Cape Blend (Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz) – R140
2015 Premium Aspect Merlot – R150
2015 Premium Vantage Pinotage – R150
2013 Reserve Sir Thomas Cullinan (55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon) – R270
2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – R390

Remhoogte

You Might Also Like

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Boutique de Brendel

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

Great Value in the Swartland

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Red Chair in the Morning

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

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

House Wine from the Wine Tram

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

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

Iconic Steenberg

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Mutual Attraction

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

Blush-endal!

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Beyond Expectation

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Proudly Keeping it in the Family at Paul Cluver – or Not?

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Noble Wines without the Rot

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Class in Glass at Glenelly

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

More Still at Tanagra

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Altitudes with Wine!

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

It’s High Time Again

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

No Black Marks at Raka

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

More than Just a Destination

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Leave a Reply

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