18-11-2011

Restful, peaceful, Rust en Vrede

Established in 1694 by ex-Governor, and rather unpleasant fellow, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, the 54 hectare estate of Rust en Vrede has quietly graced the vineyards outside of Stellenbosch for several centuries now and is owned by the Engelbrecht family.

In Afrikaans, the name means, “rest and peace” and the grounds do indeed live up to both words, even though the tasting room is quite poshy and upscale. Their tasting fee is R 30 for standard wines and R 50 for top level, reserve wines although even if you’re not up for a taste, just visiting the winery can be a pleasant experience.

The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon spends 18 months in French oak and 18 months in bottle. This particular grape happens to take up 60% of the estate. In the glass, it presents a deep currant and cinnamon nose tinged by mulberry. Spicy and dark. It has a very nice, well-structured and balanced body that is still dark and meaty. It’s a touch acidic on the finish which would lead to good pairings with food, especially anything spicy. R 155

The 2006 Shiraz spends 18 months in French and American oak with 18 months in the bottle. They claim it can be aged for an additional 6-8 years. The nose is lightly peppery with blackberry tones. The body is quite soft and surprising given the heavy dose of American oak. The finish comes up peppery as well though. There is perhaps a touch much oak, but it is still an enjoyable wine and there are those who will prefer this level of oak. R 170

The 2006 Estate is made of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 10% Merlot. This is a blend that is directly proportional to the amount of each grape on the estate. It spends 23 months in French and American oak and then 18 months in the bottle with a claim of 10-15 years in aging potential. This was also the first South African wine to be on Wine Spectator Top 100 list. The nose is full of a dark coffee element that is complex and exotic. You can feel a bit of caramel and vanilla to the body as well as the continuation of the coffee flavors from the nose. It is a very dry wine with oak that is well-balanced and structured. R 300

The “1694” 2007 is made from their oldest grapes and is 58% Shiraz, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon The aging regimen is 18 months in French and American oak (75/25 respectively) and 12 months in the bottle with a potent claimed aging potential of 15-20 years. The nose gives off immediate licorice, cinnamon, and a small amount of clove aromas. All of this mellows out in the body and it picks up their signature coffee elements to a small degree. The tannins are soft and well-balanced, making it very pleasing on the palate. It’s a strong wine though, so pairing with foods would be tricky to say the least and it would probably be best enjoyed by itself. The finish is dry, but clean and clear, making for a pleasurable glass. The price is rather out of the range of most causal drinkers though at R 1200

We talk a great deal more about the wines of Stellenbosch and other Cape Town wineries in our Stellenbosch wine guide.

WINES

Álvaro Palacios - L’Ermita 2016
Very light red cherry, raspberry, tea leaves, dried fennel, light touch of anise, bay leaf, dried flowers, touch of fig compote, truffle. Exceptionally light and delicate on the palate, very very fine red fruits, integrated tannins, plush with a slightly buttery, velvety aspect, very long finish.
85% Grenache 14% Carignan 1% "Others" · 15% · 1160EUR
97+ 3 Stars

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
95 3 Stars

Álvaro Palacios - Les Aubaguetes 2016
Linear plum and dark cherry notes, powdery cocoa, orange peel and blossom, raspberry at the base along with minor vanilla and dark spice touches. Delicate on the palate, light touches of dark fruit, good wealth of tannins yet held in check, medium plus acidity, very long finish. Needs much more time in the bottle.
77% Grenache 21% Carignan 1% Grenache Blanc 1% Macabeu · 14.5% · 455EUR
95+ 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
94 3 Stars

Terroir Sense Fronteres - Guix Vermell 2017
Crisp red cherry fruit, touch of spice, flecks of pepper, baking spice, compacted, wet earth. Delicate on the palate, stays fresh, surprising high wealth of tannins, long finish.
100% Grenache · 13% · 250EUR
93+ 3 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
93+ 3 Stars

Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
93 2 Stars

Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
93 2 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
93 2 Stars