Rust En Vrede Estate Wine
The 2016 Rust En Vrede Estate Wine is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Shiraz and 11% Merlot. It is a deep crimson red, with aromas of tobacco, ceder wood and spice prominent on the nose, along with blueberry fruit and hints of creamy cheesecake. The palate shows classic blackberry and plum flavours with a dark chocolate core wrapped with approachable tannins and a dry, lengthy finish.
- Country: South Africa
- Region: Coastal Region
- Subregion: Stellenbosch
- Vintage: 2017
- Colour: Red
- Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot
- ABV: 15%
- Bottle Size: 75cl
- Closure: Natural cork
- Style: Beating the Aussies at their own game
- Drink With: A well-aged piece of beef cooked or any red meat dishes
Rust En Vrede Estate Wine is grown on Tukulu soil that is derived from Helderberg granite. It is a mixture of decomposed granite and Table Mountain sandstone – deep and red in colour, showing good water retention which allows for only moderate vine stress during dry years.
Following fermentation, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot grapes were vinified separately. They were matured in 85% French and 15% American oak barrels for 18 months, and then for a further 12 months in the bottle before release.
Why we like this wine
Believe it or not, this blend was as used in Bordeaux a century or so ago when wines were often given a healthy dollop of wine brought in from the Rhone Valley to counteract the unripe Cabernet Sauvignon. Here it has been superbly crafted and shows plenty of ripe fruit flavours without being overblown. The oak element is well integrated and doesn't detract from the fine fruit. As you would expect from South Africa, the wine is great for drinking now but has plenty of life ahead of it.
- Stylish and very classy
- Packed with dark fruit
- Good for now or laying down
About the grower
Rust en Vrede was established in 1694 by the then Governor of the Cape, Willem Adrian van der Stel. It was originally a larger property but, in the early 1700s, it was divided into two with the original section remaining as Rust en Vrede. The first house on the estate was built in 1780 followed by the cellar in 1785. In 1790 the larger manor house was built.
At the end of 1977, the Engelbrecht family took up residence on the Rust en Vrede estate. The Engelbrecht family had been grape growers since the early 1700s but they became winemakers for the first time only when they moved to Rust en Vrede. Jannie Engelbrecht produced Rust en Vrede‘s first wines of the modern era in 1978, and for the last 37 years her family has specialised in producing red wines with the focus on Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The 55 hectares of Rust en Vrede is a remarkable example of exquisite landscaping. The underground cellar was the first of its kind for a privately owned South African winery. Designed by renowned architect Gawie Fagan, the perfectly temperature controlled environment is of invaluable benefit to the production and bottle maturation of Rust en Vrede’s unique wines.
Many accolades have been bestowed upon the estate. Two of the most memorable events were when Rust en Vrede was chosen by President Nelson Mandela to be served at the Nobel Peace Prize dinner and when the Engelbrecht family played host to the Queen of Denmark for lunch at the Manor House. Rust en Vrede was nominated as the first South African red wine in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the World and repeated this achieved for four consecutive years.
Rust en Vrede Estate is located just outside Stellenbosch, towards False Bay and nestled on the lower slopes of the impressive Helderberg Mountain, with a view on Table Mountain to the West. The vineyards are mostly situated on north facing slopes, with a small portion facing northeast and northwest. Rust en Vrede is shielded from the powerful south easterly wind by the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains, and protected from the south westerly Atlantic winds by the foothills of the Helderberg. As a result, it lies in a warmer microcosm allowing it to specialise in producing red wines. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon in particular lend themselves to full bodied wines with powerful structure.
The soil at Rust en Vrede is a mixture of decomposed granite from the Helderberg Mountain and Table Mountain sandstone. Iron stone and weakly degraded granite pieces increase the drainage in very rich soils, which is an important influence on the quality of the grapes produced.
A philosophy of precision viticulture is applied and vineyards are managed in an environmentally conscious way. Today, Rust en Vrede continues to be a fine example of what Stellenbosch is all about and it strives to be a driving force in promoting the region, its wines and, ultimately, its country.