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

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Laibach Shows its Spots

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Simple Spier

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Well and Truly Oaked!

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Mutual Attraction

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Wines Merely to Lust After

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Woody Wildekrans

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Late at Lateganskop

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Individual Quality at Jordan

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

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

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Dornier Disappoints

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Relaxing Rosendal

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

South over the Hills in Elgin

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

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

Judge and be Judged!

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Morgenhof in the Morning

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

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

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Where Eagles Care

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

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

Class in Glass at Glenelly

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

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

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Altitudes with Wine!

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

All Green at Villiera

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Real Wines in the Place of God

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

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

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

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

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Horsepower in the Vineyard

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

Noble Wines without the Rot

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Ruddy Red and Blanc Sauvignons

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

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

Leave a Reply

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