The regional announcement precedes the final results in the national event, whose results will be announced later in this week at a gala function hosted in Upington this year.
“The tremendous achievement by Darling Cellars is testament to the effort of many individuals who contributed to the success of this wine,” says Darling Cellars chief winemaker Pieter-Niel Rossouw. “The annual Young Wine Show is a platform where all producers show their young wines and demonstrate what they are capable of. Again this year, a big cellar has shown that is able to produce small batch, specialist wine of sublime quality as well.”
Darling Cellars’ winning wine is a wine blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon varieties. The vineyards that produced them are dry-land farmed bushvines located on a steep incline with a southerly aspect. The vine ages vary between four and 10 years; the soils are well drained and comprise mostly of weathered granite.
“The 2015 harvest that produced these grapes was very moderate,” says Rossouw. “In general, the grapes were ready when we wanted to harvest. We had no issues with disease and the fruit was healthy.
“Flavour in the white grapes carried through to the wine, which is very important; in unskilled hands great flavour can be lost along the way if one doesn’t take proper care. As for the red wines, they had good colour and flavour from the start, too. Tannin structure was good and they’ve provided great length in the wines,” Rossouw says.
For this blend, the two cultivars were harvested separately, given skin contact overnight and racked the next day. Once the clear juice settled, fermentation began. A part of the wine spent the first half of fermentation in stainless steel tanks and the second half in 500-litre vats of French oak. After fermentation the wine was stirred up. The balance of the wine was kept in stainless steel tanks. Both components were used for blending.
As borne out by the opinion of the judges at the Young Wine Show, the final result is a wine of supreme quality. The wine shows aromas and flavours of asparagus and gooseberry; wood is very perceptible on the nose. These characters follow through onto the palate with great balance between the wood tannin and wine structure.
“It has great length and will do well up to two years of ageing,” Rossouw says.
While not available on the market yet, the wine will be part of the DC ultra premium range.
The latest achievement adds to a growing collection of awards given to wines from Darling Cellars, which has the benefit of a unique terroir. Established as private cellar in 1996, its focus is to produce wines that are true to the region and the varieties themselves.
Its vineyards thrive in the cool and temperate West Coast climate, which lends itself to a variety of different micro and meso-climates. These combine with the varied soil types to produce grapes of exceptional quality that result in unique wines. Some 95% of all its vineyards are farmed without irrigation (dry land) and grown as bush vines - as close to natural conditions as can be.
Their outstanding character is an expression of their birthplace and is instantly recognisable in every bottle.
Darling Cellars produces a number of wine ranges – available countrywide - including the DC Premium, DC Reserve, DC Classic, Sweet Darling as well as limited releases.
Darling Cellars is situated on the R315 at Mamre Weg Station. For more information, phone 022 492 2276, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.darlingcellars.co.za. Follow Darling Cellars on Twitter @DarlingCellars, and Facebook.
• The Swartland Young Wine Show Champion Dry White trophy is sponsored by Malmesbury Toyota; and the Grand Champion by ABSA.