Brakkuil Barbarossa 2015

By , 28 September 2016



Brakkuil Barbarossa 2015

Let’s get ready to rumble!

The old dark-skinned grape vines  on Wimpie Bouwer’s property in the St Helena ward of the Swartland was originally thought to be Cinsaut but after investigations by research institute Nietvoorbij, were identified as Barbarossa, a lesser-known Italian grape which was apparently planted locally in the first half of the 20th century but then deregistered.

Enter Adi Badenhorst of AA Badenhorst Family Wines who decided to make a wine out of the last remaining plantings of the variety (read more here). The 2015 is the second vintage and it makes for a super-interesting drop. Dark fruit, fynbos, nutmeg and clove on the nose while the palate is intensely flavoured – a winning sweetness upfront offset bright acidity, the tannins nicely grippy. Suffice to say, it’s unlike anything you’ve drunk before.

#WinemagRating: 93/100.

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3 comment(s)

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    Tim James | 28 September 2016

    No one disputes what barbarossa is (though it’s pretty vague!), nor that it was initially thought by some people that Adi’s grape is barbarossa. I’m saying that you should also have looked at the comments on your own website! There, Jerry Rodrigues, last year wrote very clearly, and surely definitively:

    “The Barbarossa grapevine that grew in the Cape area (especially around Constantia), was identified by Prof. Abraham Perold way back in 1927 (in his ‘Treatise on Viticulture’) as being none other that the French cultivar called Danugue (aka Gros Guillaume). In the Cape, Perold preferred to call the cultivar ‘Cape Barbarossa’ rather that just ‘Barbarossa’ as he realized quite early on that this variety had been incorrectly given the latter name.”

    And I responded to Jerry by saying that Adi (at least latterly) knew about this.

    Tim James | 28 September 2016

    Hi Christian
    If you read the discussion on my article about the first vintage of the Barbarossa (you give a link to the article) you’ll see that the variety involved is not a “lesser-known Italian grape”, but danugue (a French table grape, according to the Robinson et al’s “Wine Grapes”). Adi knows this as well as anyone, by the way.

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