Wine

La Belle Dame Sans Chapeau

This is it! Labelled and ready for enjoyment. This year’s blend is a corker (pardon the pun) and a most daring blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot. The blend is 50/50 which is most unusual but as we just do it to have fun we saw no reason to follow convention and decided to go all the way. It was a tough decision as the varietals on their own were great BUT blended they created a flavour profile which was so unique we could not resist!

Merlot is well known Bordeaux varietal to most while Petit Verdot is mostly known as a blending grape that originated in France. It’s one of the five Bordeaux varietals—the others being Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. (Carménère, the sixth Bordeaux varietal, is hardly grown in France anymore, but is successfully grown in Chile.) Petit Verdot is a small component of many of Bordeaux’s best wines, mainly from the Medoc region on the left bank of the Gironde. Because of its strong tannins, blackberry flavors, and aromas of violets, it’s used in small amounts to add color, spice, and structure to a wine.

Petit Verdot means “little green,” and it’s aptly named, because it ripens very late or not at all, so in some years, the grapes remain green. That’s why it’s not more popular in France. But it will be most popular here in Swellendam as we serve this gorgeous blend to guests over dinner.

Finally some tasting notes as a teaser:

Fragrant and highly perfumed, with those exotic spices and violet-like aromas emerging in waves from the glass. The palate is soft and supple with a deliciously appealing fruitiness. Ripe tannins and wild yeast fermentation contribute to an excellent palate structure that is delightfully fruit-driven.

Deep ruby red color with hints of ripe black currant, plum, evergreen and mint. On the palate, rich black cherry, blackberry and plum with warm spice that envelopes the palette. A beautiful medium to full bodied wine with a long, velvety finish. Simply elegant.