Every once in a while, if the universe smiles down on you favourably, you’ll cross paths with a wine that simply blows your taste-buds right out of their comfort zone. As the cork pops from the neck of the bottle and you get that first smell of something special, you know your life will never be the same again. This exact thing happened to me when I opened my first ever bottle of Groote Post‘s Salt of the Earth 2015.
Groote Post, the beautiful historic farm owned by the Pentz family and situated in the Darling Hills on the Cape West Coast, has released a Shiraz/Cinsault blend named Salt of the Earth.
Salt of the Earth is defined as being representative of the best or noblest elements of society. This wine, a blend of 66% Shiraz and 34% Cinsault, is just that, with grapes sourced from pockets of excellence throughout the Darling Hills: low-yielding 17-year-old trellised shiraz and 42-year-old dryland bush vine cinsault.
The Groot Post Salt of the Earth’s distinctive label provides a visual connection to the soul of the wine, thanks to the expertise of Anthony Lane Design Consultancy.
In the vineyard: Smaller berries, and moderate temperatures during the harvest led to good colour and intense flavour.
In the cellar: The grapes of both cultivars were harvested on the same day and fermented together in open top tank fermenters. The free-run juice was kept separate and underwent malolactic fermentation in 500 litre oak barrels. After malolactic fermentation the wine was racked and then put back in barrel for 14 months – 60% new and 40% older 500-litre barrels.
Tasting notes: This full-flavoured blend of 66% Shiraz & 34% Cinsault abounds with cedarwood, plum, white pepper and violet notes, typical of Shiraz from Darling, integrated with fresh cherry and strawberry flavours from the Cinsault. The wine is well-structured and smooth with a touch of spice, a subtle earthy mineral undertone and great length.
Approximate retail price: Cellar door price: R240 per bottle.
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: This bold red really packs a punch of taste. Firstly, you are delicately seduced by the gorgeous floral and berry notes, before it settles into a more robust, earthy experience. My immediate thoughts are to pair this beautiful blend with braised or roast meats, like the grilled leg of lamb they serve at their restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen.
I find it to be a very versatile wine, as long as it’s paired with something that will pick up the earthy and mineral-y undertones. For summer, It would work incredibly well with something a bit more spicy, like cajun chicken kebabs made on the braai, or it will pair really well with a Mexican inspired feast. Think fajitas, burritos or anything with lean beef mince, a hint of spice and loads of sweet tomato.
And then, as always – Salt of the Earth would compliment any cheese platter, especially more mature hard cheeses, or softer, creamier cheeses.
It’s no secret that I’m the biggest fan of Groote Post’s wines. But not only of their wines; also of their business approach, their hospitality, their family-run farm and the sturdy morals and values that underpin their every venture.
My little world of wine will never be the same again after being introduced to Salt of the Earth. I have no less than two bottles sitting pretty in my wine-rack; waiting for that special occasion. Although, they won’t have to wait too long, as I’ve learnt that every day is indeed a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion.
Salt of the Earth is yet another magnificent peacock feather in the Groote Post cap, and I can’t think of a more appropriate name for this wine. If you want to give a really special gift this Christmas, pop out to the farm, be swept up in real West Coast hospitality, enjoy the incredibly beautiful surroundings of the farm, and pick up a few bottles of Salt of the Earth. Because extra special people deserve extra special wine.
The Little Hedonist has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, I do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, menu changes, opening times, and contact details.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.