Alto Rouge 2016

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R796 for 6 bottles

R133 per bottle
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Colour: Dark ruby red.
Bouquet: Lead  pencil  shavings,  crushed  red  fruit  and  a  hint  of  chocolate  dominates  the  nose.
Taste: Elegant  red  fruit  flavours  on  the  palate,  backed-up  by  soft,  elegant  tannins.

Food pairing: Excellent on its own or served with simply flavoured red meat, game and duck dishes.

variety : Shiraz | 28% Cabernet Franc, 23% Shiraz, 22% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
winery : Alto Estate
winemaker : Bertho van der Westhuizen
wine of origin : Stellenbosch
analysis : alc : 14.0 % vol  rs : 3.6 g/l  pH : 3.55  ta : 5.6 g/l  
type : Red  style : Dry  body : Full  taste : Fruity   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 750ml  closure : Cork  

AWARDS
2018 Cab Franc Challenge - one of Top 3 Blends

ageing : A stylish princely wine with lovely age.

Background
Alto, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch district, dates back to 1693 when it was part of a much larger farm called Groenrivier (Green River), granted to a free burgher by Governor Simon van der Stel. In 1919 the owner of the farm, Hennie Malan, sold off half the land to his brother-in-law and set about planting vines on his remaining portion, focusing exclusively on red varieties. He named the farm Alto, a reference to its altitude (some slopes rise as high as 500m above sea level) and his striving for excellence. The cellar was built in 1920.

Alto has 93 hectares under vines. The trellised vineyards cling to the high granite slopes, ideal for the cultivation of red wine varieties. Harvesting at Alto traditionally only starts at the end of February / beginning March due to the cooling influence of the southerly breezes during this time. This ensures gradual ripening of the grapes and contributes to the development of delicate flavour in the fruit.

in the vineyard : The 5 varietals were handpicked from trellised vineyards which grow in Hutton and Glenrosa soils. The north and north-west facing vineyards are situated against the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, some 100m to 500m above sea level, and benefit from the cooling effects of the afternoon maritime breezes during the ripening season.

about the harvest: The  5  grape  varieties  used  to  make  up  this  blend  ripen  at  different  times  and  were  harvested  at  24°  to  26°  Balling.  At the time of picking the vines were between 5 and 24 years old and yielded 6 to 10 tons per hectare.

in the cellar : Each  varietal  was vinified  separately  and  fermented  on  the  skins  for  over  seven  days  at  25°  to  27°C  in  closed  stainless-steel  tanks.  The  fermenting  mash  was  pumped  over  several  times  a  day. After  malolactic  fermentation  the  component  wines  were  aged  for  14 - 16 months  in  a  combination  of  first-,  second-and  third-fill  barriques,  mostly  of  French  and  American  oak,  before  the  desired  blend  was  made.

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