The Stork's Flight March 2016

9 March 2016
The Stork's Flight March 2016

 

Over the past number of years we have received a group of enthusiastic Swedish wine consumers who time their flight to the south to witness the harvest at the Cape. The diarising of their visit to Hartenberg has become our reminder that vintage is imminent and surprisingly, given the vagaries of when we might start picking, the group has yet to get it wrong, and this year was no exception!

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With our harvest now well underway the very dry and hot conditions that we have experienced have provided a vintage of opportunity. As we have the ability to trickle irrigate we have diminished the many negatives that the conditions could have brought us. Our judicious use of water looks like giving us the best vintage in the past decade, particularly for the red varieties.

In years such as these one cannot emphasise enough the importance of experience and as this is Carl’s 23rd vintage with us, and Wilhelm’s 10th, we have both that experience and an understanding of what is needed, in spades!

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Happily the fine weather has seen our tasting room and lunches experience an unprecedented summer season. Juergen, Caroline and their teams will continue welcoming visitors for wine tasting, lunch and/or picnics from Mondays to Sundays until April 3rd.  Thereafter we will revert to our winter, Monday to Saturday, schedule with tastings and lunch offered. (Our popular picnic, and Sunday opening will start again in early October). 

On Easter Saturday, March 26th, we will again have a live band whose sounds will provide an antidote to potential Hot Cross Bun overload! Click here to make a booking.

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Your visit to the tasting room will be rewarded as we have just released some new vintages, and re-released some older vintages. On the white wine front both our Eleanor Chardonnay 2014 and its sibling, our Estate Chardonnay 2014 are available. What is the difference between them, you might ask? Eleanor is sourced from three specific Chardonnay clones that are planted in carefully chosen sites, and they give the wine its richness, added complexity and depth. The Estate, on the other hand, is sourced from all our plantings and the resultant accessible fruitiness of the wine and its strong lemony structured backbone are the trademark characters that our vineyards are able to contribute.   

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As they say in the adverts “that is not all”!

Also available in the Tasting Room are two important Shiraz re-releases. A parcel of the “Best Shiraz in the World”, The Stork 2008, has been made available. For those who don’t know it was the top wine at the 2012 Syrah-du-Monde competition held in France.  As ever stock is limited so secure your bit of history soon. Our Gravel Hill 2006 is also available from the Tasting Room. The wine is heading into its peak drinking window, but can be cellared by those patient enough as well. (At a 10-year on tasting that we held last November the 2005 showed the benefit of getting access to these wines as it was just starting to show its colours as it lost its youth).

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We are hosting a “Look back at the 2005 vintage” event on Saturday, May 7th. The wines will be ours and five top-rated international examples. The cost will be R995 per seat for this once-in-a-decade tasting. Lunch will follow and will be accompanied by more Shiraz from near and far. To reserve your seat email juergen@hartenbergestate.com asking to be put on the bookings list. It will be on a first-come-first-served basis and payment will need to be made before the event, but those details will be sent to you.  Only 12 seats will be available for this tasting.

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Finally. What does one do when hungry and thirsty in far-off lands, in this case Toulouse, France? If clever, one finds ones way to a wine bar where often food is served. On arrival it is apparent that there is a selection of the finest wines in the world served by the glass from the Enomatic, think Petrus, Kracher and d’Yquem. This happened to James Browne in December but he then saw on the wine-list that Hartenberg Shiraz 2007 was available by the bottle.          

It is always a great feeling to bump into our wines around the world so it had to be Hartenberg!

Accompanied by N5 Wine Bar’s delicious platters of regional cheeses and charcuterie the wine tasted as good as it does at home and saved us some Euros on the cost of their local offerings to boot!