Tasting De Krans: Part Two

Oh my goodness, how long does it take to get a single blog post out.  Apparently several weeks!

Anyway, after a long delay, let’s continue our tasting of De Krans wines!  (Read more about the first session here:  Tasting De Krans Wines: The First Part)

We are continuing our wine tasting adventure with De Krans 2016 Touriga Nacional.

De Krans Touriga Nacional
Photo Credit: De Krans

Boets shared the fact that  the most popular Portuguese varietal used in red wine and port in South Africa is Touriga Nacional. It adds heaps of spice and cinnamon and is beautifully expressive. In this wine you will get the flavours is a lovely spicy, pepperiness, much like shiraz.  Chocolate and cloves also comes through.  When asked about the management of tannins in the wines, we heard that De Krans has got one of the oldest and largest basket presses in South Africa. This basket press takes about 8 tons of grapes.  Using the basket press gives the juice a lot of contact with the air, so it gives a lot more binding of the colour.  It is also a much gentler, slower press which doesn’t crush the pips or wring the skin of the berries.  This results in a much better quality and less tannin-heavy wine. Personal score 17/20, R100 per bottle

Photo Credit: De Krans

Next up, a personal favourite!  De Krans’s 2015 Tritonia.  This is a blend of  Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barocca and Tinta Amarella.  The name “Tritonia” comes from a flower that grows between Calitzdorp and Oudthoorn, one of the most species-rich semi-desert area.  In this area you will find more than 800 species of succulents, bulbs etc. There is a small picture of the Tritonia flower on the bottle as well.  Paying homage to the very special region that the Klein-Karoo is. Spicy, violets, cloves, blackberry – velvety and complex.  This is a wine with a pretty solid structure, a real gem.  This wine has won multiple awards, totally understandable.  This wine will pair perfectly with game, ostrich and even Karoo lamb. De Krans also produces a white Tritonia blend, made with Malvasia Rei and Verdelho.  We bought some on our previous trip to Calitzdorp, and let me tell you, it barely made it home!  Personal score: 18/20, R180 per bottle

Now where are moving on to the Port-style wines.

First up, the Cape Tawny Port (yes, we are calling it Port).  So sue us!  The limited release Cape Tawny port is a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barocca.  This port has got a beautiful smoky brown colour after spending 10 years in barrels.  The tawny is basically between ‘ruby’ and ‘vintage’ port.  It was fascinating to listen to Boets walking us through the port-making process, very educational and enlightening indeed!  On the nose and palette this port offers the flavours of nuts, caramel, coffee – rich and beautiful. This will go well with spicy food – we heard about a very interesting Tawny Port and samoosa pairing (I MUST try it!), or with French Onion Soup for a winter warmer combo or try it with chocolate and other sweet desserts as well. So well-balanced and well-aged.  Another interesting snippet, once you’ve opened a bottle of port, ideally it should be sipped within four weeks, in the case of a tawny, and within two to three weeks for a vintage or ruby port.  If you think of it, it makes 100% sense, it is still a wine after all?  You won’t leave a bottle of wine open for that long a period of time.  Like one of my fellow wine-tasters quipped, opening a bottle of port takes real commitment!  Another opinion that was raised is one that I’ve been hearing fore often.  That is not leave your fortified wines and port until the end of the evening, but to rather sip it as an aperitif (maybe paired with a cheese platter?) when it can be fully appreciated. Of course, the high alcohol content should be kept in mind though. Personal score: 17.5/20, R180 per bottle

Credit: De KransLast but definitely not least, the 2015 Cape Vintage Reserve. This is another blend of the Portuguese varietals (according to the website 87% Touriga Nacional, 13% Tinta Barocca). For the first five months the wines are kept separately in tanks, to give it time to settle.  Then in August of each year, the blend are mixed together. This is a well-awarded wine, including Tim Atkin’s 96 rating, where he also gave it the accolade of the best port in South Africa to the 2015 and 2016 vintages. This will pair well with a strong cheese like gorgonzola or stilton will complements the fine and dry tannins. This is a beautifully elegant port. The Vintage Reserve is unfiltered, so it is expected that you will find a bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Personal score: 17/20, R290 per bottle

De Krans is a classic example of a wine estate that knows how to play on it’s strengths, producing interesting and delicious wines,. One of our favourites!

De Krans’s website: http://dekrans.co.za/

PS: How does the scoring work?  A total score of 20, consisting of a maximum of 3 for appearance, 7 for nose and 10 for taste. 

PSS: All images obtained from the De Krans website

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