The recent addition to Durbanville Hills Wines’ portfolio, the 2012 Rhinofields Noble Late Harvest, received gold outstanding at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition, only days after taking double gold at the 2013 Michelangelo International Wine Awards.
The wine is made from Sauvignon blanc grapes, a cultivar this winery situated a mere 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre, is best known for. According to cellar master, Martin Moore, the use of this cultivar is quite unique for the production of Noble Late Harvest.
“For a number of years we played around with the idea of producing a dessert wine to extend our wine offering, especially something to enjoy at the end of a meal. It was only natural for us to select Sauvignon blanc grapes for this wine, a cultivar that is well suited for this cool climatic area of Durbanville.
“We wanted to offer a different taste profile to the Noble Late Harvest and found that the fruit and acidity of the Sauvignon blanc grapes balance the botrytis flavours exceptionally well. It brings out the crisp, fruity character of the wine without leaving a thick, sweet after taste. It’s a wonderful wine with a combination of honeycomb, citrus, dried peaches, apricot and fig preserve and has become a firm favourite of mine to showcase the versatility of Sauvignon blanc.”
The grapes were sourced from one of the highest Sauvignon blanc vineyard blocks in the valley which is situated on a south-facing slope offering a natural protection against the late afternoon sun. Only the best bunches were selected with a mix of green and yellow berries with 40% clean raisin and botrytis berries in between. The free-run juice was allowed to drain and later returned to the mash for an 18-hour period to increase extraction of the Botrytis character from the raisined berries.
The wine is made in limited quantities and currently only available from the cellar and by ordering it online through Vinoteque (visit www.vinoteque.co.za) and retails for R98 per 375ml