Women and Wines

Pictured above: Sarah (then 6) and Jessica (then 9) building their first snowman while living in Colorado, winter 2000.

Many Vrede en Lust wine lovers have experienced a long and frustrating wait for the new vintages of the Jess Dry Rosé, Sarah Unwooded Chardonnay and Marguerite Wooded Chardonnay. These three wines, all named after women who grew up on Vrede en Lust, are very popular and sell out well ahead of the next vintage. That is why we celebrate the release of their new vintages and also the promise that they aim to exceed all expectations!

The Jess Dry Rosé, as you might know, is named after Dana’s eldest daughter, Jessica. For most women this wine has become a good friend, as reflected by the passion and urgency to buy it after having being sold out for five months!  Due to the Jess’ lovely berry fruit character and salmon-like colour, the percentage of Jess-drinking males has increased rapidly once they realised that it is OK to be seen with a “pink drink”. We think so too!

The Jess 2011 promises to be available for more of the year, as we increased production by almost 30% this year, following the success of the 2010 Jess that won a Gold medal at the Michelangelo awards.

The Jess 2011 displays fresh strawberry, raspberry and watermelon fruit, floral notes and a smooth finish. The grapes are specially harvested for Rosé production at different sugar levels. The components of Jess, Pinotage (72%) and Shiraz (28%) are grown and harvested from both our Vrede en Lust and Ricton properties situated in the Simonsberg-Paarl ward.  They are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks to enhance the options for the final blend. The juice is treated like a white wine and fermented with no lees contact and no malolactic fermentation.

The 2011 vintage of the Sarah Unwooded Chardonnay has also been released. The maiden vintage of the Sarah (2010) saw the wine quickly gather a strong following and was awarded a Silver Michelangelo medal. This wine, named after Dana’s second daughter, is already following in the footsteps of the Jess, with strong growth in production.  The 2011 vintage promises greater balance, a smooth mouth-feel and is delicious.

The Sarah 2011 shows an intricate nose of white pears and tropical fruits. The fruit driven aromas follow through on the palate with a crisp citrus acidity and a smooth finish. This 100% chardonnay wine is produced from our Ricton vineyards in the Simonsberg-Paarl ward. The wine is fermented at low temperature in stainless steel tanks and spends a short amount of time on the lees. It does not undergo malolactic fermentation, nor does it receive any wood treatment. The result is a well-balanced, fresh wine.

The final new release is an old favourite, with a story that travels back to the 1690’s. The wine is named after the eldest daughter of the Vrede en Lust’s founder, Jacques de Savoye. This is our barrel fermented and matured Chardonnay, the Marguerite, which we make in limited quantities from the chardonnay vineyards next to our winery.

The 2009 Marguerite, true to the character of the woman the wine is named after, won three important awards; Gold medal at Michelangelo, Gold medal at Veritas and also the Top Chardonnay in the Franchhoek & Simonsberg-Paarl wards.  Susan and her team believe that the Marguerite 2010 is as beautiful.

The grapes are either whole-bunch pressed and the juice is then barrel fermented. The result is a vivid, complex fruit forward Chardonnay with gentle oak intervention on the elegant palate. The wine shows a note of toasted nut and butterscotch on the nose. The balanced full palate has hints of pear fruit, zesty acidity and almonds with a creamy finish.

Come and taste these three beautiful wines either at the Cellar Door or at the forthcoming wine shows to experience these new vintages and the stories they tell. Of course the WineClub members got their new vintages first!