Rupert & Rothschild Wines
– Vignerons of Distinction
The exceptional wines produced by this illustrious brand – on a farm first ploughed in a distant colonial past – are the perfect meeting of vision, craft and time.
WRITTEN BY RUSSEL WASSERFALL
IMAGES COURTESY RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD WINES
Classic Cape Dutch architecture, with its gables and black thatch, hints at the 17th Century heritage of this historic farm.
When global business and noble interests combined to express a shared appreciation for the vintner’s art, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons was formed.
This partnership owes as much to modern global lifestyles as it does to the simple, timeless reward of cultivating crops in loamy soil.
At the foot of the spectacular Simonsberg mountain in the Franschhoek Valley lies the historic farm Fredericksburg. Established in 1690 by French Huguenot settlers looking to build a new life for themselves in the Dutch colony of the Cape, it is one of the oldest sites of viticulture in South Africa.
Today the farm is home to Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, further cementing its place in the annals of New World Wines.
Despite being continuously farmed since the late 17th century, it took its place on the global wine stage in 1997 when Dr Anton Rupert and Baron Edmond de Rothschild formed a partnership to create Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons.
Although each of these celebrated figures have now left us, their great work in the noble art of the vine has been continued by their respective families.
New French oak dominates the cellar for the maturation of the various wines.
Occupying a quiet corner of the valley on the road between Klapmuts and Franschhoek they are a close neighbour of Babylonstoren, an acclaimed working farm established around the time Fredericksburg’s soil was first tilled.
Yet, while Babylonstoren buzzes constantly with visitors and tours of its stunning gardens and restaurants, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons quietly gets on with the business of making exceptional wines.
Three distinct wines are produced here; a chardonnay, and two very unique Bordeaux styled red wines. Their dedication to the quality and provenance of just three signature wines and taking time to craft each using classic techniques applied with modern equipment is evident in every sip.
Named after Baron Edmond’s wife, the single varietal chardonnay is made using only the free-run juice from whole bunches of grapes harvested by hand in the cool early morning.
Most of the pressed juice is fermented in a combination of 300L French oak barrels and 2500L foudres casks. A portion is pumped into cement eggs for fermentation where it is also left to mature.
After 10 months of maturation in the primary fermentation vessels, the 300L French oak fills and foudre are blended with a soupcon from the eggs into the exceptional chardonnay we call Baroness Nadine.
Supreme skill is expressed in the blending, as various French oak characteristics like toasting, grain, source forest and climate all contribute to the final result. The wine is fresh and finely structured, with aromas of lemon and grapefruit, an elegant finish and an aging potential of 5 years.
A restaurant with exquisite mountain views welcomes guests to sample local fare and stunning wines at source.
For the Bordeaux blend, Rupert & Rothschild Classique, terroir and its presence in the grape is everything. For their winemakers, preserving grapes in their optimal state prior to the start of the winemaking process is one of the great secrets of producing this brand’s exceptional wines. Bunches are carefully harvested by hand, gently destalked and crushed.
Grapes remain on the skins while pump-overs are carried out. With each vintage, the entire red wine production is matured in French oak barrels to add balance and complexity. This produces a classic Bordeaux styled wine with fresh raspberry aromas and a subtle, smooth, balanced palate with lingering cranberry and cedarwood nuances. It ages well for at least 10 years from vintage.
Purity of product and purpose are expressed in the three wines produced by Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons.
Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond is the pinnacle of our winemaker’s craft. A Bordeaux blend whose exceptional balance, with hints of chocolate and dark berries, is created through fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
Skin contact is allowed for between 16 and 21 days after crushing, depending on the varietal and the desired degree of extraction. Colour, concentration, aroma and flavour compounds are gently extracted through the fermentation and skin contact process.
Thereafter the wine mature in 225L French oak, with 40-50% in new wood providing a rich palette to work from in blending.
The recently released 2016 vintage carries hints of cassis and fennel on the nose to weave complexity with the strong impressions of blackberry and chocolate. It will cellar well for at least 15 years, and will continue to improve beyond that mark.
It is a truly exemplary ‘New World’ wine deserving of the esteem it is accorded as the flagship of the internationally revered Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons brand.
Available at Vinmonopolet
All three wines produced by Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons can be purchased at Vinmonopolet.
11144601 Rupert & Rothschild Baroness Nadine 2018
Chardonnay 100% kr. 329,90
11164701 Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond 2016
Petit Verdot 4%, Cabernet Franc 13%, Merlot 61%, Malbec 7%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%
11164801 Rupert & Rothschild Classique 2017
Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Cabernet Franc 15%, Merlot 50%