Gravel Hill

Gravel HillShiraz 2012

History

Over the past thirty years, from a poor parcel of dry, gravelly soil, a veritable giant in the wine world has grown. Hartenberg was one of the first South African estates to separately vinify grapes from a particular terroir. Wine from the small and highly unusual “gravel hill” was first bottled in 1978 under the “Montagne” label. Winemaker Carl Schultz arrived at the farm in 1993 and soon agreed that “The Gravel Hill” site was special, with wine from its grapes different to that from other parts of Hartenberg . The opportunity to showcase the site on its own arose after Carl was invited to join the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) a couple of years later. As a condition of membership, he had to produce a small quantity of wine for sale at the annual CWG Auction. Consequently, the 1995 vintage from the site was named and bottled for the first time as The Gravel Hill Shiraz. It was sold at the 1997 auction – the first of fourteen vintages to be sold at the CWG auction. Before becoming commercially available, accolades for the  Gravel Hill already include  the wine earning the highest price for any Shiraz at the 2007 CWG Auction and the second highest price for any wine at the auction ever. It is also the wine that has been auctioned at the CWG longest.

Of Grit and Grace

The core of the now phenomenal reputation of The Gravel Hill Shiraz is locked into the site's unique geology. On the surface, there appears to be very little soil. Instead a 40 cm thick covering of brown ferrous stone is undermined by a fine clay layer, stretching down a few metres.

As the winter rains dissipate and the soil dries out, the subsoil clay cracks, and water filters through the gravel and collects in the clay fissures, serving as the vines’ water reservoir. As the summer heat  wanes and the winter rain arrives, the clay swells, pruning the roots buried inside it,  thereby limiting the vigour of the vines.

Awards

  • 2013  Gold Medal Syrah Du Monde France (2017)
  • 2012  Gold Medal Decanter 2017, 91 points Robert Parker, 4½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2011  94 points Tim Atkins, 4½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2010  94 points Tim Atkins, 94 points Robert Parker, 4½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2008   Gold Medal Syrah Du Monde 2013, 4½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide, 94 points Tim Atkins MW
  • 2007   4½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2006   91 points Robert Parker, 92 points Wine Spectator, 4.5 stars Platter's SA Wine Guide, 5 stars Vic Harrington (Canada),   94 points Wine Pioneers (USA), 4 ½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2005   92 points Wine Spectator, 4 ½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2004   93 points Wine Spectator, 4 ½ stars Platter's SA Wine Guide
  • 2003   92 points Wine Spectator

Production

  • Production: 550 bottles (413 litres)
  • Barrel Ageing: 18 months in 100% new French Allier Oak (225l)
  • Maturation: Up to 20 years from vintage
  • Alcohol: 14.90% by volume
  • Residual Sugar: 2.1 g/l
  • Total Acid: 5.9 g/l
  • pH: 3.5

Food Pairing

Fillet of Kudu with red wine jus, rare roast sirloin, wild mushroom risotto.

Tasting Note

An iron fist in velvet glove, Hartenberg's flagship red, previously only available at the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. A dark centered, black-red and ruby rim. Elegant, black fruit with violets, cloves, smokiness and black pepper on the bouquet. The palate shows sweet ripe fruit, spicy oak, elegance and rich, dry tannins made for the long haul. The palate ends with a lingering, savoury finish.

Independent Tasting Note

“Ripe and dense, but nicely refined, with stylish Kona coffee and mulled currant and loganberry fruit notes laced with melted licorice snap and spice. Liberally toasted, but integrated on the long, smoldering finish.” James Molesworth

 

Pricing

R 595.00 per bottle
This item is not in stock.
R 3,570.00 per case of 6
This item is not in stock.

All deliveries of 24 bottles or more within South Africa will be free of charge.