De Kranz Cape Vintage 2018 [sample]

Tis the weather for fortifieds right now...if you’re in freezing cold Cape Town right now. 

We saw snow on the mountains on the drive into Stellies this morning! So this gift from De Krans could not have arrived at a more welcome time.

Dating back to 1890, De Krans Wine Cellar has a long history of winemaking in Calitzdorp. The first grapes were planted in 1936, mainly for raisin production - the current cellar was built in 1964 - and Portuguese varieties were first planted in Calitzdorp in the late 1970s. De Krans have became well known for its port and Muscat sweet wine production and have won many awards for their wines. 

The Wine:

Deep ruby with a pronounced nose of violets and rose petals, blackberries, dark plums, dark boozy cherries, prunes, dates, figs, liquorice, vanilla, nutmeg, dark chocolate coffee, and toffee.

Sweet, high acidity, medium tannins, full bodied, and with a medium finish.

Viti + Vini:

Country: South Africa

Region: Calitzdorp

Grape: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca, Tinta Amarella, Tinta Roriz, and Souzoa

Alcohol: 18.5% pH: 3.78 TA: 5.34 RS: 90.94 g/l Extract: 116.80 g/l

The selected blocks were picked at 26º Balling, destemmed, crushed and cooled in open fermenter. The grapes are left to spontaneously ferment. The skins are later pressed, and once the desired levels of residual sugar are reached, fermentation is halted by adding alcohol. The wine is transferred to concrete tanks for 12 months, followed by maturation in 30 to 40 year old small 300 litre barrels for a further 10 months.

Final thoughts:

Any time I think of these grapes I know to expect maximum satisfaction. I recently opened the De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve which is ALWAYS remarkable value for money (more pronounced, concentrated flavours, greater ageing capability...and multi award winning)...though I usually feel a twinge of guilt at not even attempting to cellar them for the 30 years. So this ‘Vintage’ is guilt free instant gratification for cold winters nights...or days?
Thank you to De Krans for the wonderfully weather appropriate, thoughtful and brilliantly timed gift! 

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