For many centuries the practice of alchemy was centred on discovering the secret to the elixir of life – the transformation of base metals into silver or gold.
The team at Hartenberg Wine Estate embarked on their own journey of exploration to uncover the best vineyards in the Cape and find small exceptional parcels of high quality vines, which could ultimately be harvested and transformed into wines worthy of joining the esteemed Hartenberg family. Together, cellar master and Cape Winemakers Guild member, Carl Schultz, and his team, have used their knowledge and skills to create the perfect blend of art and science. Their creation is Alchemy.
Designed to augment Hartenberg’s current classic wines, which focus on single cultivars, the Alchemy range allows Carl and his team to further explore the art of blending. Growing in popularity with wine consumers, blends allow winemakers to be more experimental with their offerings. Available in screw cap bottles with elegantly designed labels the Alchemy range is vibrant and youthful, and ideal for any occasion. An easy everyday drinking wine, yet in keeping with the Hartenberg guarantee of quality craftsmanship. Perfect for the entry-level wine consumer as well as wine aficionados seeking interesting blends.
The versatility of this range allows the winemaking team to vary the blends from vintage to vintage as they select only the best rare pockets of vineyards with which to work their magic. Just as the alchemists of centuries past searched for the key to transformation, the Hartenberg winemaking team will use this innovative range to explore new creationseach year.
The current Alchemy range includes:
Alchemy 2014 White Blend is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes sourced from exceptional vineyards around Stellenbosch, including a hillside site renowned for its quality bush vine vineyards. The vines are dry-farmed giving low yields that burst with intense flavours. The Chenin Blanc imparts perfumed fruit, the Semillon provides a plush, creamy palate and the Sauvignon Blanc gives a crisp, fresh acidity.
Grapes for the Alchemy 2013 Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon Blend were sourced from vineyards in Stellenbosch. The Syrah originates from an iron laterite, gravel–strewn vineyard, whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from two very different sites; one from south-facing, deep dark red loam, the other from yellow Table Mountain Sandstone. The Syrah displays plush ripe fruit flavours with soft tannins, and the Cabernet Sauvignon provides backbone, substance and focus.
Next in the range is the Alchemy 2013 Bordeaux Style Blend – Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc Blend. Merlot is the foundation of this blend, providing a silky palate and elegance, with Malbec adding vibrant fruit and colour. Cabernet Franc is to the blend what salt is to food, a pinch here and there. The Malbec originates from shallow sandy soils in Franschhoek, whilst the Merlot and Cabernet Franc both originate from deep, clay-rich Tukulu soils in Stellenbosch.
Last, but by no means least is the Alchemy 2013 Rhone Blend Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache Blend. The Syrah provides the sturdy structure of the blend and is sourced from stony Stellenbosch soils, with a deep clay under layer, making life tough for this hardy grape variety. The Grenache from Wellington gives a strawberry bouquet and is seamlessly soft on the palate. The Mourvedre is also from Stellenbosch and lends a beguiling silky mouth feel to the blend.
The range will be available from early September 2014 nationwide, at selected retail outlets, selling for approximately R50 to R70 per bottle.
Cheers to Hartenberg’s Alchemy!