The Founders Series is a very small selection of the best wine in the cellar. It follows the Bellingham style and maximum of 5 barrels are selected every year. The concept is to honour Bellingham’s pioneering founders, Fredagh and Bernard Podlashuk, affectionately known as Freda and Pod.
This power couple’s bold vision not only for their iconic brand but the South African wine industry as a whole, left a legacy for the ages. A rare greatness and inspiration, something that these special wines aim to emulate.
In the vineyard:
This is where the magic begins for this magnificent red blend. The Pinotage (70%) vineyard is located in Darling, with its red, weathered decomposed-granite, perfect for complex Pinotage production. The Shiraz (30%) comes from Stellenbosch, from a unique block of low-clay, decomposed granite that offers perfect vine balance. These vineyard blocks yield only around 5 tons per hectare and are meticulously maintained throughout the year to produce the best quality possible. The best bunches are selected in the vineyards, hand-picked and packed into small 20 kg boxes where it is delivered to the cellar as early as possible in the morning.
In the cellar:
When the grapes arrive at the cellar, they undergo a second berry selection and sorting to ensure only the finest quality fruit continue on the winemaking journey. The Pinotage was punch downed by hand during fermentation, while the Shiraz was gently pumped over for optimal colour and tannin extraction. After malolactic fermentation in barrels, 50% of the wine was matured in new French oak and 50% in second fill barrels for a period of 16 months. Only the 3 best barrels were selected to produce a mere 850 bottles this vintage, and before being blended before bottling.
The revered treatment this Cape Blend receives from vineyard to cellar shows in its tasting. Made in a more opulent style, this wine brims with rich and layered dark fruit, black cherries and plums on the nose, with sweet spice provided by Shiraz and the use of 1 American oak barrel and 2 French oak barrels. The palate reveals fine but grippy tannins, offset by the attractive juicy fruit character which follows through from the nose. A bright line of acidity provides a long, mouth-filling finish.
Food pairing suggestion:
With its depth of flavour, fragrant spice and integrated, firm tannins, this luxurious wine is an excellent match for a wide variety of gourmet cuisine. Complimentary dishes include richly sauced beef or venison fillet, pork belly and black forest dessert.