Remhoogte Free to Be 2018
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Remhoogte’s vineyards cover gently rolling hills of Stellenbosch, from Helderberg in the south to the lower slopes of Simonsberg Mountain in the north where clay and decomposing granite partly define the family farm’s terroir. Stellenbosch’s mesoclimates are suitable for all sorts of viticulture, including Remhoogte’s bread-and-butter Bordeaux-style blends.
Today after 30 harvests, son, winemaker, and vineyard manager Chris Boustred produces the family and award-winning Bordeaux-style blends. A Jack of all trades, Chris literally does everything from making the wines to managing the vineyards. At the same time, he has a passion for experimentation and the trend towards natural wines. For the past few years, he has had a number of blocks of vines planted to Syrah, Petit Sirah and Riesling he cares for, ultimately crafting unconventional, creative expressions from each of them.
The 2018 Free to be Red is an intriguing blend of both red grapes: Syrah made in a carbonic style and Petit Sirah de-stemmed and crushed.
The Syrah grapes are from a North facing vineyard on the estate and the Petit Sirah from a small North West facing from a neighboring property next to the Eerste River. Chris believes wine should be experienced not merely drunk, and this wine definitely gets your attention from the moment you put your nose in the glass. Carbonic maceration is a winemaking technique used with light- to medium-bodied red wines to accentuate the fruit and to soften tannins. In this instance, there is little to no interference during the three-week, wild yeast Syrah fermentation to maintain the integrity of the berries. Pressed juice is added back to the tank and the blended wine matures for one year stainless steel before release.
The resulting style is deep ruby-red with aromatics of juicy blackberry, ripe plum, licorice, smoke and that invite endless food pairing. The palate is fresh and ripe with fine-grained, sinewy tannins that offer a mouthfull and lead to a gentle dryness that perfectly balances the finish. Pair the 2018 Free to Be with just about anything on the grill, but it is also a superstar with braised meat, roast pork with roasted fennel, or charcuterie (i.e. Biltong) and strong cheeses.