Aaldering Shiraz 2009
Fons Aaldering, well known Dutch businessman and entrepreneur in the luxury food industry, hankered to own a wine farm. Already owning a delightful home in Spain he thought it appropriate to look for suitable land both in Spain and neighbouring France. After a while he realised that as a foreigner he was not able to buy premium vineyard land as they were “reserved” for the local community. Having heard so much about South Africa’s successful wine industry, he convinced his wife that they should visit the Cape with the possibility of purchasing a wine farm! In 2004 the Aalderings became the proud owners of a farm in the Devon Valley region on the fringe of Stellenbosch. “I cannot explain it, but I have always had an affinity for South Africa, a feeling of belonging, of coming home. I am not caught up in the dream of creating the picture perfect wine farm. Our focus is firstly on producing great wines. The frills will come later. At this point every decision we make is with our long term goal in mind – to become one of the top ten premium brands in South Africa within the next decade,” said Fons.
Currently 20 hectares are planted with vines, of which 16 hectares are in full production, producing 100 tons of grapes annually. The planted grape varietals include 13 year-old Pinotage, 13 year-old Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 year-old Merlot, 12 year-old Shiraz, and relatively new plantings of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The 2007 maiden vintage wines were made from the estates grapes by winemaker, Helene van der Westhuizen. Helene left Aaldering in July this year and Dustin Osborne, has taken over as winemaker and General Manager.
Dustin is a qualified oenologist and viticulturist with experience gained at prominent wineries in South Africa and abroad, including the Southern and Northern hemispheres.
Dustin is very excited about his new challenge at Aaldering. “Aaldering Vineyards and Wines has a unique terroir, which I am particularly excited to work with. The variation of soils, altitude, orientation and clone gives me a solid foundation to work from, not to mention the quality of fruit that the Aaldering Vineyards are known for. With a vision to produce varietal wines that are pure and true to character and portray elegance, fruit and longevity, I could not have asked for a better kick-start. Coupled with our terroir, we are fortunate to be able to add a new state of the art winery to the production of our wines, which will without doubt ensure that Aaldering becomes one of South Africa’s top boutique wineries.”
Dustin introduced us to the wines from the 2009 vintage which included the maiden vintage of their lovely Chardonnay. My choice, the Shiraz 2009, which had proved shy at the pre lunch tasting, opened up at the lunch after been decanted and allowed some time to breathe. Delicious and full-bodied the wine offers smoke and pepper on the nose and deep concentrated cherry / redcurrant flavours with a background of toasty oak and leather. We enjoyed the wine with a delicious Wild mushroom Agnelotti with roast sweet breads, brown beech mushrooms and parmesan veloute prepared by the team at Cellars Hohenort!.
Expect to pay: R190.00