Kottabos Grenache-Syrah, Boschkloof
South Africa – 2018
Tasting Note: Syrah from Stellenbosch in South Africa, highly perfumed and packed with blackberries and plums, the nose an intriguing combination of spice and candy floss.
Food Matching: Enjoy with Veal Saltimbocca
Vineyard: Kottabos is a range where all the grapes are sourced from the Polkadraai slopes in Stellenbosch. The area is full of granite and ferricrete soils and is situated close to the ocean of False Bay. Both Grenache and Syrah grapes are grown on decomposed granite soil. The soil is not over fertile which ensures smaller berries with better flavours.
Vinification: The Grenache was whole bunch fermented and pressed into old french oak barrels for 10 months before being blended with the Syrah. The Syrah was kept unoaked for 10 months to preserve freshness.
Awards and Press News: (2018 vintage) I have not come across the wines from Kottabos before and, at a massive tasting with hundreds of wines on the go, it was the striking labels which drew me to them. Was this red and its white sibling, 2018 Kottabos Chenin Blanc, yet another suite of wines which favour design over substance? Not a bit of it. In a way, they are mirror images of each other. The red is earthy, savoury, balanced and crunchy. It is not a typical Cape red in that it is leaner, more fragrant and kindlier on the palate. It is a baby but it is already drinking well. Shaped like a Beaujolais or a Loire Cabernet Franc, this is the sort of wine that you can glug down with sophisticated street food - farmers' market kebabs, wraps, tacos, burgers, hotdogs and the like. The white wine does exactly the same job and this time it is the lack of fat, oily fruit which makes it so alluring. South African Chenin Blanc can often seem exotically-charged and rather hefty on the palate, which puts the brakes on your enjoyment. Kottabos is restrained, floral, edgy and it has a degree of traction on the palate. It would slice through cheesy dishes, spice and also heat. It is the perfect partner wine to the wonderful red. Modern, relevant, cutting-edge and also delicious - all boxes ticked. Matthew Jukes - Moneyweek, 18th April 2019