All creatures great and small

Graham Beck Wines unveils an exciting ‘new’ label

Out with the old and in with the new! Aficionados of the popular Graham Beck Wines  Gamekeeper’s Reserve range will be thrilled to discover a sophisticated new makeover to this eye-catching and distinctive label. Whilst the message behind the wine and the outstanding quality in the bottle remain unchanged, the name has been altered to better reflect this innovative producer’s unswerving concern for the environment.

The 2009 Chenin Blanc and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon in this range now sport the new name ‘The Game Reserve’, which more aptly expresses this well loved cellar’s commitment to conservation and biodiversity. Over the years Graham Beck Wines has become an internationally recognized leader in sustainable wine production and most recently was lauded for their efforts in the high profile inaugural Drinks Business Green Awards.

The label design for both The Game Reserve wines has also been subtly tweaked to be more contemporary and appealing, while still remaining authentic to the theme of conservation. The Chenin features the endangered and highly elusive South African Riverine Rabbit and taking pride of place on the Cab is the majestic kudu (antelope) – both are fitting symbols of Graham Beck Wines’ commitment to preserving the country’s unique fauna and flora.

“At Graham Beck Wines we believe in giving nothing less than our very best. Our dedication to farming sustainably and producing environmentally and ethically responsible wines in harmony with nature is a long term commitment to safeguarding the health and welfare of our planet,” maintains Graham Beck Wines GM, Gary Baumgarten.

“In recognition of our dedication to reducing the environmental impact of our activities and ensuring the preservation of our ecological future, Graham Beck Wines holds no less than Champion Status from the Biodiversity in Wine Initiative (BWI), a partnership between the South African wine industry and conservationist concerns,” comments celebrated Graham Beck Wines cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira.

The wildlife reserve situated on Graham and Rhona Beck’s Robertson estate, Madeba, is an unparalleled success story. Around 1885 hectares of natural vegetation have been demarcated for conservation, inspiring many neighbouring farms to follow suit. The Reserve is home to many endangered animal and plant species and comprises large tracts of highly sensitive succulent Karoo veld, one of the three major types of vegetation found within the world famous Cape Floral Kingdom. By purchasing The Game Reserve wines, wine lovers are making a tangible contribution towards the preservation of South Africa’s precious natural heritage.

The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009

The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009 is a 100% Chenin Blanc. The fruit for this wine was harvested from 40 – 50 year old dryland low yielding bush vines planted on very deep soils. The grapes were left to ripen fully to ensure the development of rich, ripe flavours and complexity.

Aromas of upfront tropical fruit, ripe melon, pineapple, peaches and honey abound, while on the palate delicate flavours of ripe tropical fruit intermingle. The final product is a rich, full-bodied wine with a juicy palate and long, clean and crisp aftertaste. It’s an ideal food wine, great company for alfresco lunches and perfectly suited to a wide variety of dishes such as grilled chicken or fish, rich pasta dishes and spicy food.

“I love Chenin Blanc as it’s such a rewarding varietal. Chenin loves the South African climate and is an extremely versatile grape. The older vineyards deliver some of the best fruit and can undoubtedly produce world class wines,” comments Erika Obermeyer, Graham Beck Wines Franschhoek winemaker.

The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is a 100% Cab. The fruit for this wine was sourced from a selection of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from the Robertson Estate including a site located on the South-East facing slope of the Rooiberg Mountain that incorporates the game reserve on the Graham Beck property. The vines are planted on red Karoo soil which is also home to the delicate, yet resilient fynbos which the game feed on adjacent to the vineyard. These vines yield around eight tons per hectare.

The grapes for this wine were handpicked at full phenolic ripeness during the second week of March 2008. In the cellar they were destalked, gently crushed and fermented with four daily pump overs to ensure maximum extraction. Once dry, the juice was pressed and transferred into 2nd fill French and American oak for malolactic fermentation in barrel. The wine spent a further 10 months in barrel to develop complexity and a full mouthfeel.

“It’s a wine with gorgeous aromas of black berry fruit, dark chocolate and cassis on the nose complemented by secondary cigar box whiffs and spicy mineral flavours. This classy Cab delivers a rich, juicy entry and elegant palate with a long satisfying finish,” says Irene Waller, Graham Beck Wines Robertson winemaker. “It’s divine with roast meat dishes, barbeques, venison or even as an excellent match for a robust and creamy mushroom risotto,” she reveals.

Both wines are available from the Graham Beck Wines cellar door at  R50.00 (Incl VAT) per bottle for The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009 and  R80.00 (Incl VAT) per bottle for the The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. These wines, distributed by DGB on behalf of Graham Beck Wines, are also available at Makro, Ultra Liquors and other selected retailers as well as bespoke restaurants. For more information contact Etienne Heyns on 021 874 1258 or etienne@grahambeckwines.co.za

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