{wine} The views are exceptional from the top – Journey’s End Vineyards’ Precision range

The art of wine tasting is a journey; the process itself one of hedonistic enjoyment for the soul. I think I might have reached the pinnacle of my travels with the trio of Journey’s End Vineyards‘ Precision range.

Introduction

Ever the keen student, I accept every bottle of wine as an education. An opportunity to learn about a wine-making family’s methods, their terrain, their hopes, beliefs and above all, their wines. My journey with Journey’s End Vineyards started a few years ago when I was introduced to their “Tales” range of wines. I was intrigued by the typography and graphics on the bottles, and delighted at their contents. Even from the first sip, I knew I wanted to walk this path with the Gabb family to see where it might lead me.

A while later, I made my acquaintance with their “V-series” wines, and I was blown away with the smoother, rounder lines and deeper characters of these wines. The bold print on the labels of the “Tales” range made way for more timeless fonts, tinged in gold. Collector’s items, I thought.

And then, towards the end of last year, I graciously received a trio of wines again from Journey’s End, and this time I think I’m at the pinnacle of my path with them. In my hands I held the Precision range, and I instinctively knew this was a path I wanted to walk slowly and purposefully, to enjoy every aroma and nuance.

Background

Journey’s End, the boutique winery and vineyard, owned by the Gabb family, and situated on the mountain slopes above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in the Helderberg basin, have released their rebranded top-tier Precision Series range of wines to high acclaim.

Decanter World Wine Awards 2020

The Precision range, which sits at the tip of the pyramid at Journey’s End, consists of three super premium wines – Destination Chardonnay, Cape Doctor Bordeaux-Varietals Red Blend and The Griffin Syrah.

All three Precision Series wines recently received outstanding scores in Decanter magazine, one of the world’s most influential wine publications read in over 90 countries, and home to the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.

At the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards in September Journey’s End Cape Doctor 2015 was awarded a mighty 97 points and a Platinum Medal – the highest scoring red wine from South Africa. In addition, Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2018 and Journey’s End Griffin Syrah 2016 were both honoured with 91 points in Decanter.

The Destination Chardonnay 2018 also received a Gold Medal at the 2020 Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards.

To read my review on the Journey’s End “Tales” series, please click here!

To read my review on the Journey’s End “V-Series”, please click here!

Destination Chardonnay 2018

Tasting notes:  An admirable harmony of flavours ranging from ripe peach and apricot to citrus peel and lemon preserve accompanied by toasted pine nuts and a long lasting creamy textured finish. 
In the vineyard: 100% Chardonnay
In the cellar:    Battonage was practiced to add enriched mouthfeel and complexity to the wine which was left to mature for 10 months in 70% new French oak barrels.
Cellaring potential:  The Destinationʼs long aging potential will reward patient cellaring for up to 10 years post bottling.
Cellar door price:   
approx. R280 per bottle

Cape Doctor 2015 Bordeaux-Varietals Red Blend

Tasting notes:  Concentrated dark berries are complimented by a creamy texture with soft elegant tannins delivering a beautiful long-lasting finish.
In the vineyard: 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Petit Verdot,
6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec
In the cellar: The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot components are matured in 100% new French oak with the other varietals settling in second fill French oak for the 20-month period.
Cellaring potential:  Drink now or up until 2030.
Cellar door price: 
  approx. R280 per bottle

The Griffin Syrah 2016

Tasting notes:  Layers of different red and black berries with hints of smoky spice, and dark-toned fruit
In the vineyard: 100% Syrah
In the cellar: After two weeks, the skins were pressed and the wine was put into 30% new American oak and 30% French oak barrels for a total of 18 months. After final blending, the wine was filtered before being bottled. Only seven barrels of this wine was made.
Cellaring potential:  Although rich and succulent, silky polished tannins provide
structure and an elegant lingering finish which will develop well in the bottle up until 2025.
Cellar door price: 
  approx. R280 per bottle

Pizza pairing perfection

The true enjoyment of wine, for me, lies in  pairing it with something that your palate embraces. There’s no right or wrong way, and it’s a completely subjective experience. There’s also no denying that food and wine compliment each other; both with flavour and keeping each other sterling company.

I often return to the humble pizza base when I’m in need of an indulgent meal. And thankfully, pizza loves wine as much as I love this Italian staple.

Seizing any opportunity I can to create a meal around a bottle of wine, I wanted to pair my Journey’s End trio with custom, homemade pizza slices. I’ve missed going out for food and wine pairings during the ongoing pandemic, as it’s such a joyful thing to do. I decided, whilst we need to keep safe, The Tall Hedonist and I will indulge in our own pairing experience, with Journey’s End wines to guide us.

I paired the Chardonnay with slivers of lightly smoked chicken breast, grilled baby marrow and a sprinkle of fresh coriander, mellowing out beautifully into the fruitier notes of the Chardonnay. A lovely, lingering finish, beckoning you to fill your glass again.

The red blend pairs beautifully with a heartier approach, like sticky mince, a scoop of zesty salsa verde and fresh garden-picked cherry tomatoes, offering those stunning little pops of acidity to break through the moodiness of The Cape Doctor.

The Syrah called for a timeless combination of crispy bacon, garlicky mushrooms and crumbly herbed feta. Soft and delicate with just a hint of earthiness, enhanced by that slight back-of-the-throat spice you anticipate from a Syrah.

It was a lovely, slow dinner, savouring each sip, giving it the attention it deserves. There are many things that spark joy in my life, but a good meal coupled with a great wine is at the top of my list. As I swirled The Griffin Syrah in my glass, admiring the way the light got caught in its burgundy hues, I knew that all paths walked before lead to this moment, right here. It was a moment I won’t soon forget.

In conclusion

Even though I’ve reached the absolute pinnacle of my wine travels with Journey’s End, it’s a destination I will revisit many more times. Offering three exceptional ranges of wines, there really is something for everyone’s taste and preference. A Journey’s End bottle of wine is best served shared in abundance, and with those who spark joy in your life.

Thank you, Journey’s End, for reminding me that even if you walk the same path many times, there will always be something new and beautiful to see. Cheers!

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.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.

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