{wine} An exceptional year: Welgegund Heritage Wines’ 2019 vintages

Welgegund Heritage Wines celebrated their incredible awards and accolades with a whole new, spectacular set of outfits for their 2019 vintages. All I had to do, was set the table, dish up and enjoy the trio’s glorious company.

Introduction

Welgegund have pulled out all the stops with their creative and distinctive new wine packaging, which is minimalist yet compelling with strong visual appeal: bold imported bottles, simple and elegant wrap-round labels, numbered bottles and regal vividly coloured wax seals.

It’s an undeniable fact that we appreciate with our eyes first, and then with our palates.  I had a little sit-down with the Welgegund trio upon their arrival at my front door. I just held them, slowly turning the pot-bellied bottles in my hands, appreciating each detail of the new packaging. The smooth wax seals perfectly match each bottle’s contents, and acts as a visual queue when deciding in which wine-drinking mood you are. Do I feel like a bright, earthy yellow Chenin, or a moody, dark purple fruit Grenache Noir, or even a spicy, red berry Cinsault? I simply had to look at the wax seals to determine my companion for the evening.

Background

“At Welgegund Heritage Wines we only bottle our premium high-end wines in great years”, says winemaker, Friedrich Kühne. “‘Well-bestowed’ takes on a new meaning at Welgegund when we are blessed with excellent vintages, when our climate and terroir come together perfectly to produce exceptional wines.”

“2019 has been another exemplary vintage, one of the best in many years,” continues Friedrich. “As we farm dryland, soil moisture contributes a lot to quality. Between October and January preceding the 2019 vintage we only received 65mm of rain which resulted in extremely low yields of small berries bringing intense concentration to the wines, with a wealth of fruit, richness, texture and depth of flavour.”

Welgegund’s wine philosophy is to craft wines of authenticity and distinction, with intense detail in the vineyards, and minimal intervention in the cellar to allow vineyard and terroir expression, to create wines true to the cultivar. Gentle winemaking allows the expression of the natural elements bestowed upon Welgegund and careful extraction of aromas, colour and flavour.

To read my review on Welgegund’s Providence 2015, please click here!

To read my review on Welgegund’s Chenin Blanc 2017, please click here!

Awards and accolades

“We are especially pleased with the 2019 bottlings of our three limited release wines, the Chenin presented in the estate’s distinctive new packaging for the first time, and we are delighted that we have already received three prestigious awards.

Our Cinsault 2019 was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2020 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, our Grenache Noir 2019 received a Top Ten award at the 2020 Prescient Minority Report (Niche Red Varietals) convened by Winemag.co.za and our Chenin Blanc 2019 won a Gold Medal at the 2020 Veritas Awards.”

Cinsault 2019

Tasting notes: an assortment of aromas such as blackcurrant, sour cherry coulis and black forest cake with a hint of pine needles, black truffle, and lavender. The palate is soft and elegant, displaying flavours of black cherry compote, red berries, cloves, lingering with mustardy pepperiness into a long finish. The tannins are soft with well-integrated fresh acidity.
In the vineyard: The Cinsault grapes come from a dryland bush vine single vineyard planted in 1974 (46 years old) which is certified as a Heritage Vineyard.
In the cellar:   33% was wooded in 2nd fill 500L oak barrels for 14 months. The wine was not fined and only lightly filtered before bottling.
Limited release: Only 2230 individually numbered bottles have been produced
Cellar door price:   only available from the estate and their website’s online shop for R373,75 per bottle (VAT inclusive). To shop go to https://welgegund.co.za/wines/

Grenache Noir 2019

Tasting notes: an abundance of fresh cranberries and raspberries with a touch of floral and fennel notes. The palate is soft and refined, revealing sour cherries, salty dark chocolate, and game biltong with subtle hints of tobacco leaves, fresh green pepper and cinnamon. Smooth well-integrated tannins lead to a beautifully round and lingering finish.
In the vineyard: The grapes come from a high-altitude dryland bush vine vineyard planted in 2006.
In the cellar:   50% of the wine was aged unoaked to retain fresh fruity aromas and the balance was aged in in 2nd fill 500L French barrels for 14 months. The wine was not fined and only lightly filtered before bottling.
Limited release: Only 2620 individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Cellar door price:   only available from the estate and their website’s online shop for R373,75 per bottle (VAT inclusive). To shop go to https://welgegund.co.za/wines/

Chenin Blanc 2019

Tasting notes:  soft and elegant with flavours of star fruit, honeydew melons and lime, and finishes with a salty minerality and a touch of nuttiness.
In the vineyard: The Chenin Blanc grapes come from a dryland vineyard planted in 1974 (46 years old) which is certified as a Heritage Vineyard

In the cellar:   33% of the wine was aged in 2nd fill 500L French oak barrels for 14 months.
Limited release: Only 1801 individually numbered bottles have been produced.
Cellar door price:   only available from the estate and their website’s online shop for R287,50 per bottle (VAT inclusive). To shop go to https://welgegund.co.za/wines/

Award winning hot dogs

Mimicking the literal new leaf of the 2019 vintages, I wanted to dress up another old classic – the hot dog. I decided to pair my favourite hot dog toppings with each of the wines, accentuating and complementing its already-present bouquet of notes and aromas.

For the sausages, I decided on a relatively neutral German knackwurst, packed with that distinctive mouth-watering smokey flavour and just the perfect amount of snap.

For the Chenin, I slathered the roll with a  homemade caramelised red onion and granadilla relish, fresh coriander leaves and crispy onion flakes, perfectly suited to the intensely deep fruit aromas of this gorgeously rounded Chenin.

I paired the Grenache Noir with a creamy olive tapenade cottage cheese, a handful of fresh rocket and pillowy, warm onion rings, hot out of the pan. The combination of the smooth cottage cheese, infused with savoury olive flavours and the doughiness of the onions was a sure winner for the Grenache Noir. Not too heavy to weigh it down, but filled with harmonious flavours.

And what is a classic without the classics? For the Cinsault, oh, the gorgeously seductive Cinsault – a balsamic cherry tomato relish, chunks of soft feta and garden basil, roughly torn to release those herby oils. The triangle of all good things to come, these three ingredients suited the Cinsault like a snazzy new glove.

In conclusion

Needless to say, it was a dinner party for the books. I sat down with three gorgeous bottles, dressed up in their elegant attire, and the more time I spent with them, the more I grew particularly fond of their unique personalities, with or without the addition of a meal. But then again, what else did you expect from Welgegund?

Thank you, Welgegund Heritage Wines, for gifting us these exceptional 2019 vintages and for always being a conversation starter in The Little House. 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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