My Best Blend at Zandvliet
Experience 4.0 Festivals & Events Robertson Wine 4.0

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

ZANDVLIET WINE ESTATE
Thursday 31 May 2018
https://zandvliet.co.za/

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

The Wacky Wine Weekend is always something that I plan with near military precision. I aim, for example to visit the most popular estates and events on the Thursday, the first festival day, when there are least visitors. This, I headed North across the Breede River valley from Esona to be at the Zandvliet Wine Estate before 2.00pm and in time for the wine blending experience. I knew from last year’s blending at Excelsior that this would be busy and so I arrived in good time. The large grassed field that was set aside for parking in front of the magnificent Cape Dutch homestead confirmed my predictions that Zandvliet would become increasingly popular as the weekend unfolds. I heard later that more than 1,500 people will visit on Saturday.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

I made my way past the marquées and into the dimly lit Tasting Room, named the Kalkveld Lounge and opened in December 2016, that was lined on one side with barrels. There was a long table with glasses full of wine and sweet pairings. There were few people about and so I began taking photographs. It was then I realised that this was set out for the Zandvliet and Citrus Synergy Pairing that was to take place at 3.00pm. It explained too why there were so few festival-goers and I soon made my way downstairs to where there was a cellar tour before the wine blending.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

Leslie and Jacques were our guides who told us the history of the Zandvliet estate as we moved through the old cement tanks – built 120 years ago and last used for Muscat 60 years ago – whose walls were now lined with excellent historic displays. Muscat is still produced but nowadays Zandvliet brands itself as ‘the home of Shiraz’ from plantings that date back to the 1870s. The Kalkveld Shiraz, named after the calcareous Karoo soils that contain red clay and pockets of limestone, is the flagship wine of the estate. The 29 different soils on the estate, eroded over millennia from the surrounding Langeberg Mountains, bring acidity, concentrated flavours and minerality to the wines.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

Zandvliet dates back 180 years, to 1838 when the 5,000 hectare farm was granted to a Van Zyl and a Balthazar Kloppers. The De Wet family bought the property in 1867 and divided it into the estates that are now known as De Wetshof, Excelsior, Prospect and Zandvliet. Wine could be made at the time but it could not be sold in the bottle due to the control of the KWV. The first vintage was made in 1975 and the walls of the old cement tanks are lined with bottles of most of the old vintages (a 1983 bottle was given at last year’s Wacky Wine Weekend) together with old historic photographs and exhibits.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

We soon made out way into the main cellar where the blending was to take place. Leslie explained that there were no rules other than to create a blend to your own personal style and taste. The available wines were:

  • 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – an excellent wine, matured for 12 months in 3rd/4th fill French oak
  • 2017 Mourvèdre – from Ashton, fruity and with high acidity, 8 months in oak
  • 2016 Shiraz – from Zandvliet

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

I sampled each wine individually before deciding on my blend composition. The Cabernet Sauvignon showed average red and dark fruit aromas on the nose, decent acidity and grippy but not aggressive tannins. The Mourvèdre was denser with dark fruits, deep tannins for structure and a bright acidity, whilst the Shiraz was fruity with mild pepper spices and a smooth mouthfeel with good length.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

I decided that my wine would make the most of the Shiraz (81%) with structure from the Mourvèdre (11%) and fruits from the Cabernet Sauvignon (8%). Time will tell as to how the wine will develop in the bottle. Once carefully measured, I filled my bottle and fitted the cork before labelling it and adding hot wax to seal the cork.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

The blending done, I returned upstairs to sample a few wines before leaving. The Tasting Room was far busier than when I arrived. A band was playing and I recognised friends Gerald Clark and Simon Orange amongst the musicians. I tasted first the Chardonnay that had warm aromas of ripe lemon and yellow apple on the nose. The wine had good balance and length with a mild, creamy texture.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

I picked out the flagship Kalkveld Shiraz to follow. Shiraz purple showed to the full-bodied wine that had excellent complexity of currants, dark plum, bramble and spice notes. The palate was good too with fruits and spices in balance and rounded tannins that were not overpowering.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

I ended with 2 wines. The first, a Natural Sweet Muscat de Frontignan, was predictably grapey and floral with citrus flavours of tangerine and orange. It was my favourite wine and I liked the smooth, ripe off-dry to medium sweet mouthfeel and 8% alcohol. The Cape Vintage Port (or Vintage Liqueur Wine) made from Shiraz, was altogether more potent with warm spirit aromas from fortification to 17.5% alcohol. It was fruity and grapey with a lingering nutty aftertaste.

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

I recommend the Blending Experience to anyone who has not done it before. Zandvliet put on a good show and it was no wonder that it is popular Wacky Wine Weekend destination. Be sure to go early if you attend next year. Meanwhile, I shall keep my best blend safely to enjoy when it has matured.

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2017 Chardonnay – R100

Red:

2015 Kalkveld Shiraz – R210

Dessert:

2017 Muscat – R100 FAVOURITE WINE
2013 Cape Vintage Shiraz – R180

Zandvliet

You Might Also Like

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

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

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Superb Whites in the Near Dark at Mont Blois

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Individual Quality at Jordan

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

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

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

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

Relaxing Rosendal

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

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

More Still at Tanagra

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

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

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

It’s High Time Again

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Value for Money at Van Zylshof

No Blues at Hillcrest

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

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

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Mutual Attraction

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Boutique de Brendel

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

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

Wines to Love on Love Street

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Altitudes with Wine!

Great Value in the Swartland

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Idiom Puts on a Festival Master Class

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

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

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Iconic Steenberg

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Where Eagles Care

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

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

More than Just a Destination

Blush-endal!

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Morgenhof in the Morning

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Late at Lateganskop

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Red Chair in the Morning

Beyond Expectation

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Colmant Sparkled

Wines Merely to Lust After

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Langverwacht Introduced Me to Ruby Cabernet

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

All Green at Villiera

The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

SMV, SMG, GSM – BLICS and PAPERCLIPS!

Being Creative at Flagstone

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

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

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Simple Spier

No Black Marks at Raka

Au Revoir France!

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Leave a Reply

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