An unconventional Rhône-style blend from old bush vine mourvèdre.
The hero of The Rhebok 2019, Rhebokskloof’s signature blend, is mourvèdre, a varietal that does particularly well on the estate’s pocket of vineyards that fold into the slopes of Paarl Mountain. Cellarmaster Rolanie Lotz has brought her love for Rhône varietals and styles into play in her meticulously crafted winemaking since she joined Rhebokskloof in 2007, and doesn’t hesitate to take the path less travelled when it comes to creating new blends.
Rolanie says that the initial idea when they were creating The Rhebok was to use shiraz as the main varietal. “But each year when we do our tastings the mourvèdre just really stands out. We had such good samples that we decided to turn it around and make mourvèdre the main component.”
“Our mourvèdre is an older bush vine block that does really well in our decomposed granite soils, with low yields that give really nice concentrations. It’s something out of the ordinary and really showcases our terroir particularly well.” She says the blend might change in the future (there’s a younger carignan block that she has her eye on) but for now the mourvèdre really is the star of this Rhône-style blend.
This year’s harvest of the mourvèdre bush vine block concluded on 15 March. “As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the last of our new French oak barrels, this exceptional varietal will rest in the barrel for the next 12 months, allowing it to develop and mature gracefully.”
The Rhebok 2019
Rolanie blends varietals that are known to be workhorses, adding structure rather than aromatics, and that age well for up to seven years. The 2019 vintage is composed of 86% mourvèdre, 10% durif and 4% shiraz. It has garnered a cluster of awards, including scoring 92 in the 2022 Tim Atkin report, and gold in the Berliner Wine Trophy 2022.
The structure, she says, is padded by plush and opulent fruit, layered with a savoury black olive note. A touch of floral character from the shiraz comes through on the back palate, and the oak from the barrel ageing is seamlessly integrated, adding spicy notes to the mid-palate. “The Rhebok is one of my favourite wines in our signature range,” Rolanie says. “Unconventional, complex and intriguing, it perfectly showcases the unique terroir of Rhebokskloof.”
The complex fruit and spice notes (think berry compote, plums, black cherry and baking spices) pair beautifully with rich, slow-braised meats and stews (braais and grilled steaks too).
Wine The Rhebok 2019
Winemaker Rolanie Lotz
Wine region Paarl
Cultivar Mourvèdre, Durif, Shiraz
Food pairing Beef, Game, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, Veal
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