Cederberg Merlot/Shiraz 2009

Once a year the Heuningsvlei Village in the remote part of the Cederberg, attracts about 150 enthusiastic environmentalists from far and wide to assist the community to plant sapling Clanwilliam Cedar trees in amongst the craggy Cederberg mountains.

May is considered the best time of the year to plant the infant trees and the event is now in its 12th year. This exercise has proved useful for the regeneration of these magnificent trees but in January this year there was a devastating fire which swept through the very area where these tees had been planted and sadly, very few survived. So this year a further 250 trees have been planted over the past weekend.

After we had planted our trees and enjoyed a magnificent lunch at the Heuningsvlei Community centre prepared by the Bushmanskloof Wilderness Reserve team, and in need of a good bottle of wine for the evening braai, we headed off to the Cederberg winery at Sanddrif.

Cederberg Private Cellar is uniquely placed in the Cape’s highest lying vineyards which are owned by winemaker David Nieuwoudt. The farm itself is situated in the Cederberg Wilderness Area, and falls within the Cape’s “fynbos” region – one of the worlds’ six floral kingdoms.

The Nieuwoudt connection with the Cederberg area dates back to 1893. Since then there have been five generations on the farm with David now at the helm.

Originally the Nieuwoudts farmed tobacco and fruit on this rocky, high-altitude terrain before discovering that it provided the ideal area for growing vines. David’s wines (their motto is “wines with altitude”) have done very well and the numerous awards from both local and international competitions are testimony to this.

Our plan was to find a wine that would complement our loin of Springbok with a mushroom and red wine sauce. It was a difficult decision as David’s wines (the range extends to over 13 different white and red wines) are all extremely good! However, the consensus was that the Merlot/Shiraz 2009 would be the ideal partner for our meal… and it was!

The wine is a fruit-driven blend of 75 percent Merlot and 25 percent Shiraz. The deep velvet colour entices you to smell the rich aromas of ripe plums with hints of dark chocolate. The palate offers rich creamy flavours of plum and raspberry with smoky nuances on the long finish.

Expect to pay R84.00

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