Newton Johnson - 'Family Vineyards Granum' Syrah/Mourvedre 2014/16

$66.00
Sale price

Regular price $66.00

TASTING NOTES

Glowing and luxuriant. Sophisticated black and red fruits mark the superabundance of this epic red vintage. Graphite, fennel seed, warm spice and freshly turned earth render finer detail. Intricate tannin structure, fine and powdery to assertive grip, restrain the rich flavour in to a long and savoury finish.

The foremost feature of the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation is the outcrop of weathered Granite soil that is exclusive in the Cape South Coast. This iron rich granite is found in diverse size and texture due to the various stages of cooling when the magma formed this parent rock. GRANUM is grown exclusively on sites of higher density plantings and Echalas–trained (vine trained on its own wooden stake) vines of Syrah and Mourvèdre. The most rugged of these are found at the very bottom of the Newton Johnson farm. Granite soil is known to bear fresh, precise and aromatic wines and is a perfect match for these varieties. After a few years in the pipeline, we took the decision to release the first edition of this estate red from the very worthy 2012 vintage. It carries our own typical approach of soft handling in the cellar and a generous use of whole bunches and stems to mark definition and length. 

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

Newton Johnson

Newton Johnson Vineyards is owned and managed by the Newton Johnson family. The farm is based in the upper Hemel en Aarde Valley near the seaside town of Hermanus, an hour and a half’s drive out of Cape Town. This is a popular tourist destination, famous for some of the most spectacular land-based whale watching in the world lush indigenous fynbos, a floral kingdom, home to 1500 species and exclusive to the Cape, mountain walks and bike trails.

Led by Dave, a Cape Wine Master with a thesis on Pinot Noir, and his wife, Felicity (nee Newton), the Newton Johnson family moved to the Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley in 1995, built a cellar and started planting vines shortly thereafter. This enthusiasm for wine and Pinot noir in particular, was passed on to and eagerly adopted by his sons, Bevan and Gordon. They in turn have taken this family cellar and vineyards to new heights in exploring the nuances of this grape and their vineyards.

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley has seen an explosion of quality Pinot Noir over the last decade, and we believe it to be capable of producing wines of world renowned authenticity. Our focus is ever more on perfecting techniques in the vineyard and cellar that resonate the best of our conditions. The sloped vineyards face the southern winds of the cold Atlantic which couple freshness with the linearity and florals produced in the wines by our granite soils. It is a discovery of this translation from our farm that encourages us to make wines free from the distortion of modern convention and convenience, wines with purity of flavour and natural expression.

 

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

Rhone Red Blend

The Rhone Red Blend is often known as the GSM blend whereby the three main grapes are Grenache, Syrah and Mouvèdre. In actuality there can be up to 13 grapes made into this blend, by law, in the southern Rhone Valley. You can have lighter and more floral versions of the Rhone Red Blend or have bolder and oakier versions depending where in the world it is made. They are most popular in France, California and Australia.

 

--------THE REGION--------

The Heaven and Earth Valley

Our vineyards lie in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation which lies at an altitude of 150-300m in the sole emergence of igneous granite in the Southern Cape. It is described as porphyritic, having cooled in stages to distinct sizes of crystals, and decomposed further in to the soil structure. Clays formed lower down that buffer the vines from temperature change and dehydration. We believe that granite provides the linear and perfumed characters in our wines.

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 lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

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 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 big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They 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 fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could 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 could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or 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 to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you 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 need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

TASTING NOTES

Glowing and luxuriant. Sophisticated black and red fruits mark the superabundance of this epic red vintage. Graphite, fennel seed, warm spice and freshly turned earth render finer detail. Intricate tannin structure, fine and powdery to assertive grip, restrain the rich flavour in to a long and savoury finish.

The foremost feature of the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation is the outcrop of weathered Granite soil that is exclusive in the Cape South Coast. This iron rich granite is found in diverse size and texture due to the various stages of cooling when the magma formed this parent rock. GRANUM is grown exclusively on sites of higher density plantings and Echalas–trained (vine trained on its own wooden stake) vines of Syrah and Mourvèdre. The most rugged of these are found at the very bottom of the Newton Johnson farm. Granite soil is known to bear fresh, precise and aromatic wines and is a perfect match for these varieties. After a few years in the pipeline, we took the decision to release the first edition of this estate red from the very worthy 2012 vintage. It carries our own typical approach of soft handling in the cellar and a generous use of whole bunches and stems to mark definition and length. 

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

Newton Johnson

Newton Johnson Vineyards is owned and managed by the Newton Johnson family. The farm is based in the upper Hemel en Aarde Valley near the seaside town of Hermanus, an hour and a half’s drive out of Cape Town. This is a popular tourist destination, famous for some of the most spectacular land-based whale watching in the world lush indigenous fynbos, a floral kingdom, home to 1500 species and exclusive to the Cape, mountain walks and bike trails.

Led by Dave, a Cape Wine Master with a thesis on Pinot Noir, and his wife, Felicity (nee Newton), the Newton Johnson family moved to the Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley in 1995, built a cellar and started planting vines shortly thereafter. This enthusiasm for wine and Pinot noir in particular, was passed on to and eagerly adopted by his sons, Bevan and Gordon. They in turn have taken this family cellar and vineyards to new heights in exploring the nuances of this grape and their vineyards.

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley has seen an explosion of quality Pinot Noir over the last decade, and we believe it to be capable of producing wines of world renowned authenticity. Our focus is ever more on perfecting techniques in the vineyard and cellar that resonate the best of our conditions. The sloped vineyards face the southern winds of the cold Atlantic which couple freshness with the linearity and florals produced in the wines by our granite soils. It is a discovery of this translation from our farm that encourages us to make wines free from the distortion of modern convention and convenience, wines with purity of flavour and natural expression.

 

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

Rhone Red Blend

The Rhone Red Blend is often known as the GSM blend whereby the three main grapes are Grenache, Syrah and Mouvèdre. In actuality there can be up to 13 grapes made into this blend, by law, in the southern Rhone Valley. You can have lighter and more floral versions of the Rhone Red Blend or have bolder and oakier versions depending where in the world it is made. They are most popular in France, California and Australia.

 

--------THE REGION--------

The Heaven and Earth Valley

Our vineyards lie in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation which lies at an altitude of 150-300m in the sole emergence of igneous granite in the Southern Cape. It is described as porphyritic, having cooled in stages to distinct sizes of crystals, and decomposed further in to the soil structure. Clays formed lower down that buffer the vines from temperature change and dehydration. We believe that granite provides the linear and perfumed characters in our wines.

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 lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

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 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 big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They 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 fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could 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 could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or 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 to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you 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 need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.