Hillcrest Hornfels 2011


The eagerly awaited December edition of Classic Wine magazine was launched last week at a glamorous dinner held at The Mount Nelson hotel. Besides the main magazine, which is beautifully presented and packed full of attention-grabbing articles, this edition includes a separate supplement comprising all the wine tastings conducted by the Classic Wine team with their respective tasting panel during 2013. On the evening of the launch the wine makers of the winning wines within each category tasted were presented with their well deserved awards. The bonus, however, for the guests was that we had the opportunity to enjoy some of these wines along with the delicious menu. The main course was roast lamb and after tasting through the excellent reds that we had on our table the most balanced for the lamb was Hillcrests Bordeaux blend, The Hornfels 2011.

The Hillcrest Estate is a comfortable 30 minute drive from Cape Town and located on the slopes of the Tygerberg hills in the Durbanville wine region. Due to its unique location the soils are suitable to both olive and grape production which has made Hillcrest a producer of high quality olives, olive oil and wine.

The vineyards are cooled by afternoon sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean which makes it one of the prime growing grape regions in the Western Cape. Well drained, deep soils with good water retention capacity are differentiated into Oakleaf, Hutton and Clovelly types which favour the production of good quality grapes.

The undulating landscape offers a range of micro-climates which suit the different varieties planted on the farm. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are planted on the higher rocky slopes and benefit from the cooler ripening conditions. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other red varieties benefit from the well-drained soils lower down. This results in wines which are well balanced, with fresh, fruity flavours highlighting each varietal character.

Two ranges of wine are produced: The Hillcrest Range which comprises a range of six wines, including reds, whites and a rose. Their flagship Metamorphic Range consists of three wines: the Quarry Merlot, the Relief Sauvignon Blanc and their Bordeaux blend, Hornfels.

The Hillcrest Hornfels 2011 is a 5 way Bordeaux blend led by Cabernet Franc. The colour is dark velvet with alluring aromas of black cherry and ripe plum with wafts of spice. The palate is full bodied with rich savoury blackberry flavour with lingering plums on a well-rounded silky finish. Delicious to enjoy now, especially with meat dishes, but it will be worth laying down a few bottles to allow the flavours to develop further over time.

Expect to pay: R297.50

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