Radford Dale Black Rock Rhone Blend, Shiraz and Grenache Mourvèdre, Viognier, Carignan, Radford and Brit Alex Dale, Stellenbosch 2016
The estate is the brainchild of Aussie Ben Radford and Brit Alex Dale who crossed paths in Burgundy and later in South Africa. They eventually set up the Radford Dale estate in 1998 in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. Ben returned to the Barossa Valley but Alex remains to continue the tradition of producing excellent wines from vineyards located in the Devon Valley (3ha) and Helderberg Mountain (4ha).
The Black Rock Winery is part of the Good Hope empire based in the Stellenbosch, although this warming Rhone blend comes from the Swartland region of the Cape, 70 miles north of Table Bay. Good Hope has been experimenting with different sites around the Cape for a number of years and the most positive result have come from the Perdeberg Mountain area from where this red comes. Indeed, the company describes Swartland as 'South Africa's best kept viticultural secret'. The Black Rock Blend is mainly Shiraz with a splash each of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Viognier from grapes grown in 6 parcels on the slopes of Perdeberg Mountain. The Shiraz and Grenache vines vary in age from 11 to 21 years, the Mourvèdre & Viognier 8 to 10 years and the Carignan vines are 36 years-old. Yields are exceptionally low and each varietal is fermented separately in open top oak barrels before two-thirds of the wine is transferred into French oak barrels to mature for 12 months. The remaining one-third remains in tank.
A vibrant purple-red in the glass. On the nose, lively, aromatic scents of lavender spice and black berries. The palate is complex and mineral with flavours of blueberries, liquorice and green herbs while the finish is lingering yet subtle.
Grapes: Shiraz and Grenache vines vary in age from 11 to 21 years, the Mourvèdre & Viognier 8 to 10 years and the Carignan vines are 36 years-old.