Babylonstoren unveils its first flagship red wine
Babylonstoren, the historic farm situated in the Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl, has announced the release of its flagship red wine – the first since the estate began making wines under its own label four years ago.
Representing the apex of the Babylonstoren wine collection is the Babylonstoren Nebukadnesar, a red blend named after Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king credited with the construction of its famed Hanging Gardens.
“The Nebukadnesar is a simple and honest reflection of the terroir at Babylonstoren,” says cellar master Charl Coetzee. “Its realisation is a credit to the efforts of every individual who nurtured it from the vine to the bottle.”
Nebukadnesar 2012 was designed as a blend to celebrate the diversity of Babylonstoren and its garden and brings together five Bordeaux cultivars, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc the dominating role players. All the wines were made separately and matured in new French oak barrels for 12 months. The blend was then created and returned to barrels for another 12 months.
The result is a wine with a deep, saturated ruby colour and intriguing fragrance of violets and thyme, intense blackcurrant and underlying savoury depth of cigar-box, cedar and black truffle; superbly crafted with good balance of vibrant multi-layered fruit supported by tight, well-honed tannins, handles the oak effortlessly; opulent yet sophisticated with a long, compelling finish. Satisfying now, but with time will develop and unfold its many treasures.
Nebukadnesar joins the Babylonstoren Chardonnay, which together make up the flagship range.
Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2012 is the second vintage of this wine. Pale gold with a fresh, fine-grained nose of quince, grapefruit, white flower, nettles and freshly cracked walnuts; classy, sleek structure with racy acidity and subtle citrus fruit softened with textured creaminess, vanilla and nutty complexity from the 12 months barrel maturation; tangy mineral tones with fine intensity and balance; good focus and length with a refreshing finish.
The wines sit atop a portfolio that now comprises the 2014 Babylonstoren Chenin Blanc; the 2014 Babylonstoren Mourvedre Rosé, the 2014 Babylonstoren Viognier, the 2013 Babylonstoren Babel Red Blend and the 2013 Babylonstoren Shiraz.
Wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where its grapes are grown. The farm is over 400ha in extent of which 62ha is under vine. There are 13 grape varieties, at varying altitudes and in a multitude of terroirs.
Located in a premier wine growing region of the Cape, the farm itself has become a popular destination for visitors around the world. Amongst the oldest Cape Dutch farms, it has one of the best preserved traditional farmyards and beautiful examples of original Cape Dutch buildings and architecture. It boasts a 3,5ha fruit and vegetable garden that harks back to the Gardens of Babylon and, its hotel, restaurants and spa enjoy international acclaim.
Babylonstoren was established some 322 years ago, to supply fresh goods to ships passing the Cape between Europe and the East. The name hails from the small hill on the farm, which reminded early farmer Pieter van der Bijl about the Bible story of the Tower of Babel. There have been vineyards on the farm since then, but it was only four years ago – upon the completion of the new winery – that wine was first made under the Babylonstoren name.
Its label expresses the essence of Babylonstoren: the flower represents the garden; the bird, nature and the pipe represents the farm.
Visitors who wish to get better acquainted with the farm’s winemaking philosophies should undertake Babylonstoren’s newly upgraded, one-hour cellar tour. It provides insight into the farm’s history, wine growing heritage, new olive oil production plant, winery and barrel cellar and includes an olive oil and wine tasting along the way.
Stay in touch with Babylonstoren by joining its exclusive Wine Club and enjoy the benefits it offers. To sign up as a member of the Babylonstoren Wine Club, call 021 863 3852 or send email to email@example.com