Bartinney Clings to the Mountain
Experience 3.5 Stellenbosch Wine 4.5

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

BARTINNEY
Thursday 28 March 2019
http://www.bartinney.co.za/

Experience: 3.5/5
Wines: 4.5/5

Bartinney was my third and final tasting of my day out to the Banhoek Valley area to the East of Stellenbosch at the base of the Helshoogte Pass. I had already been to the excellent Oldenburg Vineyards and simple Le Pommier but had wanted for a long time to sample the Bartinney wines. I had tried a year ago before having checked opening times for a Friday only to find the gate closed on my arrival, it being Good Friday.

Bartinney

Bartinney

The white entrance gate lies close to the road. It leads to a narrow lane, trees beside, that is paved to start but turns to light gravel as it passes another gate. The road opens up to a large open parking area that has vineyard cottage guest houses on one side and an open view down the valley on the other. It was not immediately clear where the Tasting Building was – or, as it is called, the Tasting Shed – but I soon found the signs and walked down the small slope to it.

Bartinney

Bartinney

I met Brendt, Tasting Room Manager, and my host for the visit. Bartinney wines for tasting fall into 2 main collections (R50 for 4 wines): the Bartinney Range and the Reserve Range. There is the entry, Noble Savage Range that is sold at the Bartinney Wine & Champagne Bar in Bird Street in Central Stellenbosch together with Montegray Vineyards wines that are sold next door at the Montegray & Independents Tapas Bar. Co-owner Rose Jordaan has crafted The Tempest fynbos gin but I did not taste. The Tasting Shed has a rustic feel with its use of wood from old oak from vats, vintage chairs, and uprooted Sauvignon Blanc vines. It makes for a relaxed environment with its spectacular views down the steep slopes overlooking the Banhoek Valley. The Tasting Shed is also a venue for live music on Friday evenings.

Bartinney

Bartinney

I began with the Sauvignon Blanc and 2 Chardonnay. The pale straw coloured Sauvignon Blanc, from grapes grown on cooler, elevated North-facing slopes, was made in tropical style with aromas of fresh guava and melon. Like many of the fruitier kind, the acidity was slightly below typical tartness to make for a crisp and refreshing wine.

Bartinney

Bartinney

 

I tasted the 2 Chardonnay, from different ranges, side by side. The wines sport a simple label that features a winged figure called Élevage. Élevage is the French term for the stages between fermentation and bottling and includes the careful, selective, artisanal blending of raw wines to make the final product. The Bartinney Range wine, with black winged logo, had a delicious smooth texture that complemented simple ripe yellow apple and vanilla aromas. The wine, matured for 11 months in 30% new and 70% 2nd/3rd fill barrels, showed just the right amount acidity to add grip to the mouthfeel.

Bartinney

Bartinney

The Hourglass Chardonnay from the Reserve Range, with white winged logo, was a hefty R620 and served via Coravin. It was the first flagship wine to be made (700 bottles) using the best grapes from a specific block of high altitude vines that is naturally shaped like an hourglass, hence the name. The Chardonnay was rich and balanced on the nose, perhaps a little less intense than the Bartinney sibling, but excelled on the palate. The intensity of fruits grew on the palate that was well balanced with a fabulous rounded, smooth texture.

Bartinney

Bartinney

Bartinney dates back to 1920 when a Harrods Director chose to settle in ‘the most beautiful valley on earth’. The Manor House was built 3 years later. The property has been owned by the Jordaan family since 1953 with Michael and Rose Jordaan being the 4th owners from 2006. The estate grows just 3 cultivars – 12 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon and circa 3 hectares each of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – on the 28 hectare farm, with the remainder set aside for conservation and sustainability. The vineyards lie between 450 and 550 metres above sea level, on steep slopes of up to 45°, and are nurtured using biological pest control. No wonder Bartinney has the strap line of ‘wine made on a mountain’.

Bartinney

Bartinney

Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on the lower slopes of the Botmanskop Mountains and the basis for my final 3 tastings. It was good to compare the 2013 and 2014 vintages. Both were full bodied wines, aged for 18 months in 30% new and 70% 2nd/3rd fill barrels, and served at the right temperature. They were different in character. I preferred the bramble and blackcurrant fruitier yet slightly earthy 2013 wine because of its smoother and more rounded tannins. The younger, 2o14 vintage – a Platter 5* winner – was greener on the nose with hints of fruity spiciness. The wine was more tannic and structured on the palate with the balance favouring tannins more than fruit.

Bartinney

Bartinney

The final wine of the tasting was the left bank Bordeaux-style blend made from 4 varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon was the majority grape (75%) and so the wine showed much of the character of the single cultivar wines. It vied with the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon as my favourite wine. Rich, bold and alcoholic, the nose was full of bramble, cassis and dark plum aromas. The fullness followed through to the palate that had rounded tannins in good balance with the fruit flavours.

Bartinney

Bartinney

Bartinney showed that it is sometimes better to make fewer wines of quality that a broader range with quality compromised. The wines were well made and presented, even if Brendt disappeared for moments on various errands during the tasting. I recommend a tasting visit. I left feeling that there was a certain je ne sais quoi about the tasting experience. There was a funky emotion that I could not quite put a finger on. Maybe it was something of the steep slopes and the mountain air ….

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2018 Bartinney Sauvignon Blanc – R120
2017 Bartinney Chardonnay – R180
2015 Bartinney Hourglass Chardonnay – R620

Red:

2013 Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon – R190* FAVOURITE WINE
2014 Bartinney Cabernet Sauvignon – R197
2011 Bartinney Élevage (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 5% Malbec) – R276*

Bartinney

You Might Also Like

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Late at Lateganskop

Real Wines in the Place of God

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

House Wine from the Wine Tram

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

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Class in Glass at Glenelly

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Simple Spier

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

South over the Hills in Elgin

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

Mutual Attraction

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

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

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

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Where Eagles Care

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

I-own-a Wine Farm!

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Relaxing Rosendal

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

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

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Dornier Disappoints

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Altitudes with Wine!

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Judge and be Judged!

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

Woody Wildekrans

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Well and Truly Oaked!

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

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

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Wines Merely to Lust After

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Noble Wines without the Rot

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Horsepower in the Vineyard

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

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Hope Lies High in the Valley

A Myth, a Princess, History and Destruction, 2 Names and 4 Styles – Shiraz with Pizzazz

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Individual Quality at Jordan

Satisfaction in Getting My Ducks (and Wines) in a Row

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Hard Graft without Grafts at Abingdon Wines – No Hail to the Monkeys

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Leave a Reply

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