South Africa, Franschhoek, September 2014: ALLÉE BLEUE, the renowned wine estate in the Franschhoek Valley, has re-written the history books with itsAllée Bleue Pinotage 2012 having been selected as an ABSA Pinotage Top 10 wine.
Although this is Allée Bleue’s third ABSA Pinotage Top 10 wine, its Pinotage 2012 is the first wine classified Wine of Origin Franschhoek – made from grapes on the farm – to ascend the podium of this auspicious competition. It is also Allée Bleue winemaker Van Zyl du Toit’s first title in this event.
The previous two Allée Bleue wines to feature in the ABSA Pinotage Top 10 were made by Du Toit’s predecessor, from grapes source in the Piekenierskloof.
The ABSA Pinotage Top 10 is an annual championship hosted by the South African Pinotage Association to highlight the best wines made from this unique South African cultivar.
“We’re delighted with this result,” says Allée Bleue general manager Ansgar Flaatten. “It’s certainly a just reward to everyone involved.
“We’ve been working for a number of years on that vineyard and invested in attaining the quality we desire. The recognition given by this award is testimony to this work and investment, as well as the quality that Franschhoek is capable of.”
According to Du Toit, the soil type that produced the grapes for the winning wine is drastically different from the rest of the farm. “The same stone ridge crops up in this vineyard as in our top block of Shiraz,” he says.
Special attention is given to pruning, suckering, green harvest, and then at harvest, so that only the best grapes arrive at the cellar. Some of the grapes are discarded in the process, so the block produces only about 7ton/ha. “It’s here where the concentration has its source,” says Du Toit.
The grapes were harvested in early February 2012 and pressed eight days later. “The harvest itself was excellent for red wine considering the moderate weather we experienced. This causes the ripening to take place evenly and ensures good phenolic ripeness at a sugar level that’s not too high.”
Allée Bleue has always been proud of Pinotage, which is why there are four Pinotage wines. “These wines don’t only display the quality and uniqueness of Pinotage, but also the diversity of the cultivar,” Du Toit says.
There’s Allée Bleue Brut Rosé – a Pinotage-driven bottle fermented MCC; Starlette Pinotage – an entry-level Pinotage that highlights the fruit and drinkability of Pinotage; Allée Bleue Platinum Pinotage – intended to showcase the greater complexity and fuller flavours of the cultivar; and, Allée Bleue Cape Ruby – a ruby-style port wine made with 100% Pinotage.
The Allée Bleue Pinotage 2012 is one of Allée Bleue’s ultra-premium wines and part of the Platinum series. “This range, which comprises a white and red blend, and the Pinotage, shows our passion to make wine that stays true to the cultivars and the areas they hail from,” Du Toit says.
The 135ha Allée Bleue estate lies at the end of a tree-lined avenue, its vineyards and orchards radiating out from its historic manor buildings, and is owned by the Dauphin family. Open to the public for tours, conferences and events, Allée Bleue is a year-round destination in the Cape winelands.
The Allée Bleue Pinotage 2012 is a full-flavoured, rich and elegant wine that is intense brick red in colour. On the nose there’s upfront fruit aromas of ripe cherries and plums, followed by flavours of sweet vanilla pods, liquorice and some cedar wood on the palate. The wine is available from the farm as well as leading retailers. The Cellar Door price is R150-00
Allée Bleue is situated at the intersection of the R45 and R310. For more information, visit www.alleebleue.co.za. Allée Bleue can also be found on Twitter @AlleeBleue, and Facebook. For more details, phone 021 874 1021.
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