The Graceland wine making philosophy starts in the vineyard where no insecticides are used and minimal spraying. Special attention is paid to pruning, canopy cover and limiting production in line with producing top quality grapes. The most important decision each year is when to pick and this is done in small batches according to the microclimate which determines when each row becomes optimally ripe. As to winemaking, we are very natural in our approach. Only grapes and nitrogen. Our sulphur dioxide levels are considerably lower than average.
The grapes are de-stemmed into open fermenters. The skins are hand plunged 4 times per day. After 8 days the wine is pressed; pressed wine and free run are combined. It is then racked to oak barrels where malolactic fermentation takes place.
The above techniques are geared towards low intervention with the use of oxidative rackings as a key feature. The oxidation causes unstable colour, tannin and flavour to polymerize and “drop out of the wine”. It also eliminates off odours. The resulting wines only have stable constituents left which means the wines will age well, probably 7 – 10 years. In summary, these wines are big and flavoursome with good tannin structures.
53% Merlot, 40% Shiraz, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon with half barrel matured and the balance in tank. Merlot, the backbone of the blend, is from vines planted in 2003. Elevation from 100m-150m. Soil types fall mainly under the heavier Klapmuts, over decomposed granite. Clay lies 1m-1.2m down.
Lighter on the palate yet plush red fruit give roundness and warmth. Serve slightly chilled.
Enjoy with steak frites, gourmet hamburgers and roast chicken
This wine, a blend of Merlot with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon offers awesome value. Fragrant crushed black cherries and cassis, vanilla, baking spices and mocha aromas roll into a supple palate with generous fruit. It is plush, approachable and international in style, but the fruit and soft tannins will appeal to fruity red wine lovers. Score 89, www.winescores.com, Sept 2019