The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard
Darling Experience 4.0 Wine 4.0

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

DARLING CELLARS
Monday
19 March 2018
http://www.darlingcellars.co.za/
https://www.vineyard.co.za/

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

`The darling from Darling’ was how Brand Manager Ilse van Zyl cheekily described herself. It was good to return to the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town for evening tasting. It was good too to taste wines from a different Wine District and one I have yet to visit. The Cellar is located some 40 kilometres North of Durbanville, on the R315, almost half way between Darling and Malmesbury.

Darling

Infamously known perhaps for its Chocoholic Pinotage, Darling Cellars produces a large number of wines for many tastes and at different price brackets. The collections vary from the flagship Heritage Collection – wines inspired by the peoples and landscape of the town of Darling – to the Sweet Darling Range. In between, are the Limited Release Range, Wild Flower, MCC, Gustus, Old Bush Vines, Premium, Reserve and Classic Ranges. Phew! Ilse brought a representative sample of 5 wines from across the spectrum.

Darling

The Cellars are known for their dry land (non-irrigated) bush vines which was a smart move by the owner and viticulturalist several decades ago, given the impact of the current drought in the Western Cape. The Sauvignon Blanc was excellent value for money for the price. I had expected a warm, tropical, fruity style given the heat of the region but Ilse pointed out the onshore sea breezes that cool the vines. The wine was grassy, green in style with aromas of asparagus, gooseberry, lime and green fig. It had a clean and refreshing mouthfeel, aided by an acidity just below the bracing norm.

Darling

The Lady Ann Darling – named after the wife of 1851 Governor Sir Charles Darling – was from the limited release Heritage Collection. Two months on the lees and 8 months maturation in barrels gave the wine an oak-forwards profile on the nose. This hindered its complexity – I picked up aromas of lemon and nougat – but gave the wine a rounded and creamy texture on the palate.

Darling

Sauvignon Blanc is an unusual cultivar for a Rosé. Indeed, I can remember tasting only one before, at Diemersdal. Grenache (a cultivar often used to make Rosé itself) skins were used to make the pleasant onion skin or ‘eye-of-the-partridge’ colour. Wild strawberry, candy and red cherry aromas gave an intensity and a sweetness to the bouquet. Consequently, the palate was dryer than expected to make a crisp wine with moderate acidity.

Darling

Sir Charles Darling was a great proponent of free trade and Human rights, so it is timely that I am writing this review on Human Right’s Day. The red blend of his name was my favourite wine of the tasting. There are times when a blend has just too many cultivars – the Babel that I recently tasted at Babylonstoren contained 6 grape varieties – that can hinder rather than add to complexity of bouquet. This blend delivered. It was inviting and insisted that I drank it, being warm, ripe and fruit-forwards on the nose with a bouquet of bramble, black plum, cassis and mulberry with cedar and chocolate beneath. Tannins caught up on the palate. These were smooth with some of the typical Cabernet Sauvignon astringency softened by the addition of Merlot.

Darling

The final wine, the Shiraz, was another decent wine and a great medium purple in colour. It took a little time to warm up in the glass but when it did it revealed classic spicy red to dark berry and currant aromas. The full body appearance betrayed a lighter style on the palate that was not over-oaked to produce a moderate follow through.

Darling

Ilse reminded that Darling is closer to Cape Town than one imagines (but avoid the Malmesbury road works at peak times) which encouraged me to make a trip to the Darling vineyards sooner rather than later. I am certainly persuaded on the basis of this tasting to visit to explore the rest of the impressive Darling Cellars range.

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2017 Reserve Bush Vine Sauvignon Blanc – R49
2017 Lady Ann Darling (50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Sémillon) – R158

Rosé:

2017 Pajama Blush Sauvignon Blanc/Grenache Rosé (90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Grenache) – R53

Red:

2016 Sir Charles Darling (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot) – R155 FAVOURITE WINE
2016 Black Granite Shiraz – R62

Darling

You Might Also Like

SMV, SMG, GSM – BLICS and PAPERCLIPS!

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

No Black Marks at Raka

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

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

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

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

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Wines to Love on Love Street

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Simple Spier

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

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

Individual Quality at Jordan

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Relaxing Rosendal

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Beyond Expectation

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Blush-endal!

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

It’s High Time Again

More Still at Tanagra

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

Wines Merely to Lust After

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Boutique de Brendel

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

No Blues at Hillcrest

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

More-ish Wines at Môreson

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Mutual Attraction

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Colmant Sparkled

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

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

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

On the Left, but then on the Right …

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Great Value in the Swartland

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

All Green at Villiera

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Late at Lateganskop

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

More than Just a Destination

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Iconic Steenberg

Red Chair in the Morning

Being Creative at Flagstone

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Altitudes with Wine!

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Morgenhof in the Morning

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Au Revoir France!

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

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

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Leave a Reply

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