Ah. A toasty red blend on a cold winter’s eve alongside a bowl of hearty soup. There are not many pleasures in this world that can surpass the warmth and love of a good red blend when your soul needs a bit of cuddling. Vriesenhof Vineyards is right on the mark once again with their winter-warmer soup offering, the GSM 2017.
We all know I’m a sucker for branding and clever marketing. Vriesenhof is known for it’s playfully tongue-in-cheek approach to the world of wine, and the bottle that landed on my desk simply filled me with quirky delight. Not-so-subtly wrapped in red and white packaging that reminds strongly of a well-known international soup brand, I was gifted a bottle of GSM 2017 to help beat the icy onset of winter nights.
The ‘GSM’ blend, made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (GSM), is a classic from the Côtes du Rhône, where these grapes – said to hold the secret to this French region’s wines – are grown.
The Vriesenhof Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2017, grown and vinified in Stellenbosch on the Estate, was released earlier this year, and has nuances of dark cherries, chocolate with beautiful savouriness and white pepper and a lingering finish of raspberries and leather.
Winemaker Nicky Claasens describes the Vriesenhof GSM 2017 as “a beast of a different colour – the embodiment of numerous complexities that the drought wrought on the vineyards” (press release).
The reason why this bottle excites me so immensely, is because it’s a blend of three of my most enjoyable cultivars. The soft red berry aromas of a Grenache, coupled with the slightly savoury punch and dark nuances of a Syrah and the delicate spices of a Mourvèdre – this is my happy triangle that I’m very willing to get lost in.
Tasting notes: dark cherries, chocolate, white pepper, with a lingering finish of raspberries and leather
In the vineyard: Grenache (46%), Shiraz (35%), Mourvèdre (19%)
In the cellar: nine months in 3rd and 4th fill French oak barrels. Drink now for the next 3 – 5 years.
Cellar door price: approx. R100
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: Oh, but the possibilities are endless! Because of it’s beautifully balanced spicy and savoury notes, my immediate thoughts are along the lines of a Moroccan tagine, either with slow-cooked lamb or with chickpeas and potatoes. Maybe even a chorizo pilaf, where the rich and fragrant sausage will lap up the high tannin. Beef short ribs, or an earthy, rustic mushroom risotto. I also like the idea of pairing it with Asian food, such as noodle or pork dishes, soups and dumplings.
For something a bit more unconventional and fun, pair this GSM with your favourite pizza or pasta dish – it will make the greatest mid-week treat!
Another beautiful bottle from Vriesenhof. But don’t think for one minute that this GSM 2017 should be limited to dreary winter’s days. Carry it over into summer for those lazy weekend braais, or for a al-fresco picnic. Wherever you go, just pack a bottle of Vriesenhof. Thank me later.
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.