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De Grendel Tasting - 9th April '24

On the 9th of April we honoured by having Charles Hopkins and Jana van Zyl of De Grendel present their wines to us. Charles is one of the best presenters we have ever had at Vats! His tastings are always filled with amazing information of farm, the people and the wines of De Grendel. This tasting was extra-ordinary, and became the most interesting discussion of viticulture that I have ever been to. Charles wealth of knowledge of vine and wine, from more than 40 years of making and loving everything wine, I believe are almost unmatched. This was a tasting filled with wines of super quality! Charles and Jana spoiled us with an older Vintage of each of their wines that they brought for tasting and a cleaned barrel sample, as well. So here is what you all missed, in the order they were tasted, with comments from the tasters and their average scores.


1.     Barrel Sample Sauvignon Blanc 2024

Colour- light green. Nose- jasmine, citrus, guava, tropical, with green fruits. Palate- crisp acidity, tropical fruits with melons, black currant, citrus and white peach.

Score- we did not score this wine.

2.    Methode Cap Classique Brut 2016 (70% Chardonnay & 30% Pinot Noir)

Colour- light green-gold, with a fine mousse. Nose- citrus, honey, smoke, brioche, dough. Palate- crisp acidity, lively citrus fruits, doughy, strong brioche, honey.

Score- 16.87.

3.    Cap Classique Brut 2022 (81% Chardonnay & 19% Pinot Noir)

Colour- light green, with a lively, but fine mousse. Nose- full with different citrus components, toast, brioche. Palate- crisp acidity, brioche and toast, with citrus full on the mouth that lingers to the finish.

Score- 16.60.

4.    Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (slight bit of wooded Semillon)

Colour- light green-gold, with the rim a slight straw colour. Nose- citrus, honey, lanolin, coffee, black currant. Palate- crisp acidity, soft citrus fruits, black currant, lanolin, nettle, with a soft oiliness on the finish.

Score- 16.50.

5.    Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2023 (no Semillon, but wooded)

Colour- light green. Nose- citrus, nettle, black currant, toast, green grass. Palate- crisp acidity, sherbet, green grass, green bell peppers, green melon, black currant, with a green herb finish.

Score- 16.88.

6.    Shiraz 2017

Colour- inky dark red heart, with no gradation to a red rim. Nose- fynbos, kakiebos, chocolate, spice. Palate- crisp acidity, firm but softening tannins, spice, caramel, milk chocolate, mint, black currants and cherries that linger full to the finish.

Score- 18.00 (2nd best wine tasted in 2024, out of 75).

7.     Shiraz 2020

Colour- inky dark red heart, with no gradation to a red rim. Nose- black currant, mint, savoury with sun-dried tomatoes, toffee. Palate- crisp acidity, firm tannins, toffee, milk chocolate, caramel, black cherries and currants, spice that lingers full to the finish.

Score- 17.33 (tied 8th best wine for 2024, with the Anura Legato 2020).

8.    Rubaiyat 2015 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc & 5% Merlot)

Colour- inky dark red heart, with no gradation to a browning rim. Nose- black currant, cassis, spice, cedar, black cherries and berries. Palate- crisp acidity, firm tannins, spice, toffee, black currant, cedar, cassis, with black berries and cherries that linger full to the finish.

Score- 18.14 (Best wine scored thus far in 2024).

9.    Rubaiyat 2018 (54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot & 1% Cabernet Franc)

Colour- inky dark red heart, with no gradation to a clear rim. Nose- black currant, cassis, caramel, toffee, sun-dried tomatoes. Palate- crisp acidity, firm tannins, cassis, caramel, toffee, black cherries and berries that linger full to the finish, needs time still too young!

Score- 17.67 (4th best wine for 2024).


“WOW” is the only word, that one can use to describe that awesome tasting! Four wines in the top ten, first, second, fourth and eight. With two more in the top 25, the Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2023 tied at 20 with the Millineux “Kloof Street” Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2022 and the Methode Cap Classique Brut 2016 which was in 22nd place. Best wine for the tasting and the year was the Rubaiyat 2015. The awesome depth that more Petit Verdot gives to a Bordeaux blend is immense. Second and also second for the year was the gorgeous, fruit filled Shiraz 2017. Third, the Rubaiyat 2018, also coming 4th for the year. To say we were Spoilt rotten is an understatement! A huge thank you to Charles and Jana, for bringing us these gorgeous wines and blessing us with the best tasting most of us present have ever been to!



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