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Val de Vie’s Ryk Neethling

2016 Premium Blend

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Alwyn van der Merwe

Director of Investments

When a renowned sports star – in this case, an Olympic gold medallist swimmer – lends his name to a product such as wine, there’s always a risk that the end product might present itself in an ‘over-the-top’ fashion. In the case of Val de Vie’s Ryk Neethling 2016 Premium Blend, it’s refreshing to experience the wine as elegant and stylish, yet enjoyable and powerful enough to make a statement.

Although this wine is produced in the 100-ton L’Huguenot cellar on the Val de Vie Estate, the grapes are sourced from various areas in the Western Cape. It’s a 50/50 blend of two Rhône varieties – shiraz (from Paarl and Elim) and grenache (from Botrivier). Both these cultivars do well in the Western Cape, with grenache gaining in popularity as a single-cultivar wine in South Africa.

The youth of the wine is still evident in the colour as the wine shows off with brightness and an intense purple colour. A good start, as grenache is sometimes prone to displaying early signs of ageing. The nose is outspokenly fruity, with red fruit flavours such as raspberry and cherry – supplemented by spicy aromas and a hint of vanilla.

The wine is full bodied without being flabby, the red fruit is very evident and it ends with a lingering white pepper aftertaste. The tannin structure provides sufficient support without being overwhelming. This a well-made wine – its elegance would allow for immediate consumption but it’ll also drink very well for the next five years.


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