This March, we honoured the legacy of Nicolas de Lanoy – one of Boschendal’s pioneers –with the unveiling of a distinctive new red blend, the Boschendal Nicolas 2016. The highly-anticipated wine expertly blends the finest Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in an enthralling, exceptional creation.
We are particularly proud of the wine because the 2016 vintage was a challenging one. However – according to Jacques Viljoen, Boschendal Cellar Master – Nicolas is proof that through adversity comes greatness. “I have long believed that the grape that makes the best wine, is the grape that endures the hardest season. This is true of the Nicolas 2016, a blend of exceptional detail and a true reflection of the Boschendal legacy. The blend has a distinctive character, with each component making an integral contribution to the whole. This is the absolute best blend we could put together. And the result speaks for itself.”
Shirley van Wyk, Marketing Manager of Boschendal Wine, says the inspiration for Nicolas came from the tapestry that is evident in so many facets of Boschendal. “Our story is one of exceptional elements coming together to form something truly extraordinary. From pockets of land which knit perfectly together in a visual compilation, to the story of the combined farms of Jean de Long and Nicolas de Lanoy creating the estate we have today. From the perfect blending of our 334-year-old history with a modern, inspiring lifestyle, to the rich combination of sustainably-grown produce that forms the foundation for our farm-to-table philosophy. All these elements come together to create a legacy of excellence.”
Nicolas was created by a team led by Viljoen. Made from Shiraz (58%), Petit Verdot (14%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), Malbec (8%), Merlot (7%) and Cabernet Franc (3%) grapes, each variety was selected for the separate yet complementary qualities it brings to the blend.
Viljoen explains that the grapes are grown in high-lying, cool climate sites mostly from the Stellenbosch region, with a small percentage from the Swartland. “These are highly expressive, trellised vineyards. Their altitude, aspect and close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean yield fruit with a restrained classical elegance, good acidity and soft tannins. Farming practices are tailored for ultra-premium quality and grapes are harvested at perfect ripeness.”
Viljoen says that, upon arrival at the cellar, bunches are hand-sorted to ensure that any green berries are discarded. “The respective cultivars are vinified separately and treated very gently throughout the winemaking process to obtain the wine’s signature classical elegance. Primary and malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks before wines are matured in small French oak barrels for 16 months. These consist of 20% new wood, and the rest a combination of second, third and fourth fill barrels. After the meticulous tasting of the respective wines, the final blend is assembled and bottled.”
The bold and elegant Nicolas 2016 was launched on 18 March simultaneously at The Nicolas on Boschendal Estate, Daytona Johannesburg and The Ash Restaurant in Düsseldorf, Germany. The unveiling was celebrated intimately with an eclectic mix of select media, restaurateurs, wine distributors and socialites including the likes of David Tlale, Carol Bouwer, Ebonie Elektra, Lynelle Kennend, Christiaan Eedes and more of our dearest peers.
Van Wyk calls the wine an incredibly exciting new blend for the estate and South Africa’s winemaking community at large, “This is a distinctive red blend that truly exemplifies all the best qualities of Boschendal brought together in one, perfect bottle.”