Hartenberg Gravel Hill Shiraz 2009


1 in stock

Street Wines View:

75cl bottle.

After first tasting Gravel Hill in 2007  I began to evaluate what were the best wines in the world.  There are so many and so many different styles but in all honesty many are vastly overpriced and have become tokens. Hartenberg have been around longer than many of the perceived greatest wines and are understated to say the least. They are people who are consistently friendly and welcoming and not in the least showy. In fact Hartenberg once won best Shiraz in the world at Frances Syrah du Monde Competition, the wine they won it with wasn’t even their best Shiraz.  I can remember where I was when I first tasted this, it knocked me sideways and grabbed my interest. It led me to travel to the estate and take in everything I could about the vineyard and cellar and to meet the people behind it.

Since it was established in 1692 Hartenberg Estate has always had very high standards of winemaking. This reluctance to compromise must come with the terroir and for the current cellar master Carl Schultz, who has been at the farm for over 20 years now, only the best will do. The winery occupies its own valley in the Bottelary Hills in the Stellenbosch region. The Mediterranean climate, cool breezes channelled down the valley from the ocean and poor gravelly soils are perfect for grape growing. As a leading member of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative in South Africa, Hartenberg have established various initiatives to protect the 170 hectares of natural wetland on the farm; to encourage the natural harmony and health in the vines and a sustainable future for the land. The Hartenberg social commitment is equally valued with sponsored crèche facilities and adult literacy classes provided for the 45 permanent cellar and vineyard staff.

Gravel Hill, the first single vineyard Shiraz produced in South Africa, was initially crafted exclusively for the Cape Winemaker’s Guild auction and is now the longest running wine in the history of the Guild. This is a classy terroir-driven red with liquorice spiced black fruit and smoky character.


Critic Reviews:

4 ½ stars Platter’s SA Wine Guide