I’ve tended to be unimpressed with Stellenbosch reds from the 2006 vintage – most appearing slight and gawky but Grand Reserve 2006 from Delheim over the weekend proved to be lovely.
A blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot, it was matured for 17 months in French oak, 100% new. Red and black fruit, a hint of violets and an oak-derived note that evoked antique furniture. Full but not fat, pleasingly savoury – a hint of tomato cocktail but not disconcertingly so. The acidity fresh, the tannins suitably powdery. A little extra fruit purity would have elevated it to greatness but that would probably have been asking too much of it given the vintage in question.