Hartenberg Doorkeeper Shiraz 2010
My first visit to Hartenberg Estate was in the mid eighties when Gilbeys were the owners. They had purchased the farm from the Finlayson family and the delightful Eleanor Finlayson continued to live in the original manor house and manage the tasting room until her death. The wines at this time were made by the young and talented Danie Truter whose first vintages produced under the name of Hartenberg in 1985 (previously the wines were bottled under the Montagne label) received favourable cricitisicm, especially for the reds. Known as “the unhurried wines of Hartenberg” the evidence of care and attention to their wines was evident.
In 1987 the late Ken Mackenzie purchased the farm and today his daughters continue a programme of investment in the farm, focusing on three key areas: the replanting to specific sites of some 55 hectares of premium varietals, the development of production facilities, and the upliftment of knowledge and skills for labour and management.
Cellar master and wine maker for the past 19 years, Carl Schultz, has helped to position Hartenberg on the International market with his world class award winning wines, they now export to 30 different countries. The local market, however, is not forgotten and you will find their range of wines on some of South Africa’s premier wine lists as well as fine wine stores.
Predominantly a red wine producer, their Shiraz for me has always been my preferred red wine from this estate. The first Shiraz from here stemmed from the 1974 vintage and today the estate continues to produce this high-end quality wine.
‘In hindsight it was with great vision that the decision was made in the late 1960’s to undertake the planting of Shiraz at Hartenberg in an era dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon,” says Carl, who is fortunate to have what are arguably the Cape’s best Shiraz vineyards at his disposal.
The ability for a wine to age gracefully is a common thread that runs through all 38 vintages produced to date at Hartenberg with many of the older wines still drinking well after 20 and 30 years. For Carl this is the most finite measure of quality.
Today, Hartenberg offers four outstanding examples of Shiraz, The Gravel Hill, The Stork Shiraz, the Estate Shiraz and their new arrival, the Doorkeeper, all expressing their own individuality and unique character. This differentiation in style is the culmination of the same team working the vineyards at Hartenberg for many years, getting to know the subtle differences in character and expression of the varied terroir that makes up the estate.
The Doorkeeper Shiraz 2010 is a welcome addition as it affordably priced and wonderfully good with its easy quaffable nature as well as a delight with winter fare.
“Our Doorkeeper Shiraz is an expression of what Hartenberg Estate is able to do with Shiraz in a younger, modern, more upfront style. The wine is intended to showcase the beautiful, fruit-forward aromatics and flavour’s of the grape,” says Carl. Created from younger parcels of Shiraz vines grown on the estate, which are wonderfully expressive and offer earlier accessibility, the Doorkeeper Shiraz is released two years from vintage, whereas The Stork, Gravel Hill and the Estate Shiraz, are only released after four or five years from vintage.
Depicting Hartenberg Estate’s rich heritage dating back to 1692, the focal point on the Doorkeeper Shiraz label exhibits the original “doorkeep”, the heavy door knocker on the historic doors of Hartenberg’s famous underground cellar.
The wine has a dark velvet colour with aromas of ripe plum, hints of spice and dark chocolate. The palate is silky rich with dark berry fruits and savoury spice balanced with soft and ripe tannins. We enjoyed the wine on a cold winters evening with steaming bowls of lamb casserole!
Expect to pay: R75.00