De Kleine Wijn Koöp Hoendertande Grenache 2019
De Kleine Wijn Koöp began as a collaboration between some young blokes, making bona fide African wines sourcing grapes from around the Cape. Now the winemaker is the super talented Wynand Grobler and the range has gained greater focus and direction without losing any of the original irreverence and adventure.
Given Wynand's experience in the famous Franschhoek valley (he used to be the winemaker at Rickety Bridge), it's becoming a bit of a calling card. This limited-production Grenache is believed to be the first and only varietal Grenache being made in Franschhoek, making it literally as rare as hen's teeth (hoendertande means hen's teeth in Afrikaans).
The Grenache vines were planted at the turn of the millennium. Grapes are hand-picked, natural whole-bunch fermentation (meaning brighter, vibrant fruit flavour) in open-top fermenters, then barrel aged in old French oak for 12 months.
It is gorgeous. Grenache like this shows you why some call it the Pinot Noir for hotter climates. Red cherries and strawberries plus subtle earthy notes. Light-bodied, fresh acidity, fine tannins. That whole-bunch fermentation delivers a slightly spicy quality too. All in all an absolute delight to drink.
And fewer than 100 bottles made their way to the UK.