Warwick Estate - 'Trilogy' 2017

$60.00
Sale price

Regular price $60.00

53% Cabernet Franc 38% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Merlot

2017 was the last year of the Cape drought and the most extreme of the drought years. The wines from 2017 really show this, small yields, and very concentrated wines. Rich bouquet of fruit and violets and perfume supported by notes of dark berries, spice, and dried tobacco. Dark cherries, cassis and soft array of dried herbs supported by grippy and fine tannins which lead to a lingering finish. Upfront and fruity now and to enjoy now but will reward cellaring over the next 5 – 7 years.

Each component was harvested separately, de-stemmed and sorted into tank. The wines spent between 20 and 40 days on the skins, with three or four pump overs per day and then pressed to undergo malolactic fermentation in barrel and tank. After completion, the wine was racked to French oak barrels (60% new oak was used) for a period of 24 months before a strict selection process, where only the best barrels from the best blocks are selected. Wines are blended and allowed to clarify naturally before bottling in October 2019.

This red Bordeaux blend was first released in 1987 and quickly established itself as one of the top South African Wines. The Grapes are sourced from the oldest, most established vineyards on the Warwick Estate. aromatics include red cherries and jasmine supported by dried herbs.

On the palate, red fruit flavours dominate with support of tones of leather and dried thyme.  Drink with roasted lamb - the whole lamb!

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Warwick Estate

Warwick Estate is a high-end South African winery in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The Estate has a rich farming history dating back to 1771.

Then a fruit farm, Warwick only emerged on the forefront of South Africa’s wine scene when Stan and Norma Ratcliffe bought the estate in 1964 and started developing the land with an extensive focus on the classic Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Through determination and commitment, Norma Ratcliffe became one of the Cape’s first female winemakers – and one of its most illustrious wine personalities, whose legacy is immortalised in the Warwick “First Lady” range.

The first wine under the Warwick label was released in 1984, then named “La Femme Bleu” – “Blue Lady” as it is known today. Two years later, in 1986, the Warwick Trilogy – a three-varietal Bordeaux-style blend – was released and has since been recognised as a truly iconic wine, with many vintages adorning some of the greatest wine lists in the world. Throughout the years, Warwick’s wines have won many awards, firmly establishing the brand as a South African icon.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Bordeaux Blend

The phrase “Bordeaux-style red blend” is used informally to describe red wines produced from a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and to a lesser extent Carmenère and Malbec.

All the red wines of Bordeaux can naturally be described as such, though it is also an appropriate term for wines made outside of the region.

Appellation d’Origine Protegée (AOP) laws and other protections of origin mean that only wine made in the Bordeaux area can, according to strict regulations, be officially labelled as Bordeaux.

The success of the Bordeaux-style red blend has seen it exported to other regions, notably the United States, though also in some of the fine wines of South America. To understand the Bordeaux style red blend better, it is worthwhile to establish some facts about each of its composite parts and what they bring to the overall blend.

Wines used in a Red Bordeaux-style Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon produces deeply coloured, highly structured and full-bodied wines with ample acidity. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is naturally high in tannin and is thus capable of ageing for decades, sometimes in fact requiring it to be approachable and enjoyable. In youth, Cabernet Sauvignon shows black fruit aromas and flavours, particularly of blackcurrant, that over time give way to subtle, nuanced tertiary aromas.

Merlot

Merlot is a softer and rounder grape variety, with more obvious fruit than the Cabernet Sauvignon. Though capable of producing superb wines by itself, its job as a counterbalance to the austerity and astringency of the Cabernet Sauvignon should not be overlooked.

The grape is widely grown and produces wines from entry-level to some of the world’s finest, with Pomerol’s Pétrus and Château Le Pin the standard-bearers.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, though is considerably lighter in colour, body and tannin. It offers a Bordeaux-style red blend more obvious fruit than Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a pleasant herbaceous note. Its lighter body can be welcome when blended with its more robust progeny, offering crispness to the wines.

Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot remains a small but important part of many quality Bordeaux-style red blends. Single varietal wines are powerful, deeply coloured and tannic. In blends, it boosts tannins and deepens the colour, and offers a distinctive spicy note.

Malbec

Malbec also plays a smaller supportive roll in Bordeaux and is more common in nearby Cahors and, notably, Argentina. At its best, it is deep-coloured and fruit forward.

Carmenère

Carmenère is nearly extinct in Bordeaux today and is much more significant in Chile and, to some degree, in Northern Italy. It is a low-yielding grape that produces deep-coloured, full-bodied wines.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is the leading quality region in South Africa. It is home to many of the most famous estates and many of the top wines. Generally speaking it is a red wine hub with Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the helm, though recently more white wines are taking over.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

53% Cabernet Franc 38% Cabernet Sauvignon 9% Merlot

2017 was the last year of the Cape drought and the most extreme of the drought years. The wines from 2017 really show this, small yields, and very concentrated wines. Rich bouquet of fruit and violets and perfume supported by notes of dark berries, spice, and dried tobacco. Dark cherries, cassis and soft array of dried herbs supported by grippy and fine tannins which lead to a lingering finish. Upfront and fruity now and to enjoy now but will reward cellaring over the next 5 – 7 years.

Each component was harvested separately, de-stemmed and sorted into tank. The wines spent between 20 and 40 days on the skins, with three or four pump overs per day and then pressed to undergo malolactic fermentation in barrel and tank. After completion, the wine was racked to French oak barrels (60% new oak was used) for a period of 24 months before a strict selection process, where only the best barrels from the best blocks are selected. Wines are blended and allowed to clarify naturally before bottling in October 2019.

This red Bordeaux blend was first released in 1987 and quickly established itself as one of the top South African Wines. The Grapes are sourced from the oldest, most established vineyards on the Warwick Estate. aromatics include red cherries and jasmine supported by dried herbs.

On the palate, red fruit flavours dominate with support of tones of leather and dried thyme.  Drink with roasted lamb - the whole lamb!

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Warwick Estate

Warwick Estate is a high-end South African winery in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. The Estate has a rich farming history dating back to 1771.

Then a fruit farm, Warwick only emerged on the forefront of South Africa’s wine scene when Stan and Norma Ratcliffe bought the estate in 1964 and started developing the land with an extensive focus on the classic Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Through determination and commitment, Norma Ratcliffe became one of the Cape’s first female winemakers – and one of its most illustrious wine personalities, whose legacy is immortalised in the Warwick “First Lady” range.

The first wine under the Warwick label was released in 1984, then named “La Femme Bleu” – “Blue Lady” as it is known today. Two years later, in 1986, the Warwick Trilogy – a three-varietal Bordeaux-style blend – was released and has since been recognised as a truly iconic wine, with many vintages adorning some of the greatest wine lists in the world. Throughout the years, Warwick’s wines have won many awards, firmly establishing the brand as a South African icon.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Bordeaux Blend

The phrase “Bordeaux-style red blend” is used informally to describe red wines produced from a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and to a lesser extent Carmenère and Malbec.

All the red wines of Bordeaux can naturally be described as such, though it is also an appropriate term for wines made outside of the region.

Appellation d’Origine Protegée (AOP) laws and other protections of origin mean that only wine made in the Bordeaux area can, according to strict regulations, be officially labelled as Bordeaux.

The success of the Bordeaux-style red blend has seen it exported to other regions, notably the United States, though also in some of the fine wines of South America. To understand the Bordeaux style red blend better, it is worthwhile to establish some facts about each of its composite parts and what they bring to the overall blend.

Wines used in a Red Bordeaux-style Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon produces deeply coloured, highly structured and full-bodied wines with ample acidity. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is naturally high in tannin and is thus capable of ageing for decades, sometimes in fact requiring it to be approachable and enjoyable. In youth, Cabernet Sauvignon shows black fruit aromas and flavours, particularly of blackcurrant, that over time give way to subtle, nuanced tertiary aromas.

Merlot

Merlot is a softer and rounder grape variety, with more obvious fruit than the Cabernet Sauvignon. Though capable of producing superb wines by itself, its job as a counterbalance to the austerity and astringency of the Cabernet Sauvignon should not be overlooked.

The grape is widely grown and produces wines from entry-level to some of the world’s finest, with Pomerol’s Pétrus and Château Le Pin the standard-bearers.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, though is considerably lighter in colour, body and tannin. It offers a Bordeaux-style red blend more obvious fruit than Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a pleasant herbaceous note. Its lighter body can be welcome when blended with its more robust progeny, offering crispness to the wines.

Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot remains a small but important part of many quality Bordeaux-style red blends. Single varietal wines are powerful, deeply coloured and tannic. In blends, it boosts tannins and deepens the colour, and offers a distinctive spicy note.

Malbec

Malbec also plays a smaller supportive roll in Bordeaux and is more common in nearby Cahors and, notably, Argentina. At its best, it is deep-coloured and fruit forward.

Carmenère

Carmenère is nearly extinct in Bordeaux today and is much more significant in Chile and, to some degree, in Northern Italy. It is a low-yielding grape that produces deep-coloured, full-bodied wines.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is the leading quality region in South Africa. It is home to many of the most famous estates and many of the top wines. Generally speaking it is a red wine hub with Pinotage, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the helm, though recently more white wines are taking over.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.