2017 AA Badenhorst 'Raaigras' Grenache

2017 AA Badenhorst 'Raaigras' Grenache

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Single Vineyard wines are made and bottled with the express intent to respect the truth of the site. These bottlings capture the very essence of each vineyard in dramatic fashion. As Adi says, “these are wines without eye-shadow…”

The 2017 Raaigras (“rye grass”) Grenache comes from the oldest Grenache in South Africa, planted in 1952, with 20 per cent whole-bunch fermentation. The vineyard has an energy and presence, and the soils are beautifully reflected in the wine.

This wine has a well-defined, very perfumed, minty bouquet of thyme and sage. You will sense cherry, wild strawberry, earth, and white pepper on the nose. The palate is rich and broad but not without freshness. A slightly medicinal opening with the leitmotif of peppermint surfaces through the red fruit, and is followed by a well-defined and gentle grip with slightly chalky tannin. Impactful without being gauche.

About the producers

Andre Adriaan Badenhorst grew up in the vineyards of the infamous wine estate Groot Constantia in Western Cape, South Africa. After working a few harvests at Chateau Angelus, Alain Graillot in the north Rhone, Adi purchased Kalmoesfontein farm with his cousin and restored a cellar that had been neglected since the 1930s. Here, they now make natural wines in the traditional manner, vinifying in old foudres and cement vats.

The vineyards on Kalmoesfontein farm are made up of very old bush-vines planted with Chenin Blanc (average 40 years old), Cinsault (average 45 years), and Grenache (average 58 years). Located on a mountain range which is a granite outcrop, the vines are un-irrigated and farmed as biologically as possible.

Badenhorst is a showman, with a nice line in self-deprecation. “We make wines with immense character. We’re using what we can afford. We are making the best wines we can. And we are having great experiences. I want to make something, involving interaction from my family.' He also works naturally. ‘We don’t want anything other than the grape in here.”