Winemaker: Edwin Grace
Background: Saxenburg wine farm is a delightful family owned business outside Stellenbosch. Saxenburg can trace its history as far back as 1693 when Governor Simon van der Stel granted the land to Joachim Sax a free burger from Germany. The farm was officially signed over to Sax by Willem Adrian van der Stel in 1704 but Sax being a restless individual sold the farm a year later to a gentleman named Olaf Berg. The name Saxenburg developed from these early pioneers. In 1989 the then ailing farm was purchased by the energetic Swiss couple, Adrian and Birgit Bührer. Coming from a successful business background Adrian, along with his new team, rebuilt Saxenburg to become one of the Cape’s top wine producers. Today the business is managed by Adrian’s children, Fiona and Vincent, along with their recently appointed head winemaker, Edwin Grace who took over the reins from Nico van der Merwe (Nico had been at Saxenburg since 1990) late last year. Saxenburg produces five ranges of wines with their Private Collection housing their premium range of wines. Perhaps the most well-known within this range is their Private Collection Shiraz which year on year exceeds in delighting the palates of wine imbibers who enjoy this cultivar. To prove the longevity these wines have from this farm we were invited to an intimate vertical tasting at the winery where we were shown the 1994, 1996 and 2000 vintages. All three showed elegant fruit and restrained tannins with the older 1994 able to hold on for a few more years! However these wines are not readily available unless you twist someone’s arm at the cellar so we later tasted the 2105 vintage. The grapes for this 100% Shiraz are from selected vineyards on the farm and once picked the grapes are hand sorted and fermented at 28deg in open tank fermenters plus having punch down and pump overs approximately 4 times a day. After fermentation the wine was left on the skins for three weeks when malolactic fermentation took place before being transferred to barrel for 12 months of maturation.
Result: Lovely deep velvet colour with plum and red cherry aromas. The palate is rich with ripe black berry fruit with a touch of spice on the elegant finish.
When to drink: Now till 2028
Drink with what: We enjoyed it with slow braised beef cheeks, accompanied with a smooth truffle mashed potato prepared by the team at the Cattle Baron Grill Room at Saxenburg.
Expect to pay: R237.00