De Grendel Op die Berg Pinot Noir 2021

By , 14 February 2023

The Ceres Plateau captures the imagination as a wine-growing area, the vineyards planted some 1000m above sea level in the Witzenberg, 40km north of the town of Ceres itself. The climate is continental and winter temperatures frequently dropping below zero. Could this appellation, for instance, lend itself to less ordinary Pinot Noir?

De Grendel have been working with Pinot from here for a while and the current-release 2021 (price: R275 a bottle) again fascinates. 70% whole-bunch fermented, the juice was inoculated, malolactic fermentation taking place in new barrels, before maturation lasting 13 months in older barrels.

Initially the nose shows top notes of musk and rose before red and black cherry while fynbos, white pepper and even a little meatiness emerge with time in glass. The palate shows good clarity of fruit, lemon-like acidity and lightly grippy tannins. It’s deftly done but lacks some of the heft of previous vintages – alcohol is 12.82%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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