As the days begin to darken earlier and cold weather creeps a little closer, there’s no better time to open a bottle of our just-released Red Horizon 2013…

Jacques, AJ and I did just that a few weeks ago. Sitting at Open Door and catching up on all of Uitsig’s progress, we found a worthy topic of conversation in Uitsig’s newest offering.

Having spent over a year in one of just 65 barrels before being bottled and stored in the cellar, Red Horizon 2013 is a shade darker than its sold-out predecessor, and the differences don’t stop there.

Aromatic, light and elegant, it’s a very different Bordeaux blend from previous vintages. In the past, Constantia Uitsig’s red blends have been primarily Merlot-driven, but our Red Horizon 2013 switches to a dominant Cabernet Sauvignon style (69% Cab Sav, 22% Merlot and 9% Cab Franc).

Possessing more concentrated fruits as a result, there are notes of plum, purple flowers and black cherry on the nose. And despite its time in French oak, wood is hardly detectable, giving way to a zesty interplay of fruits, complimented by the subtle presence of mint and eucalyptus.

Thanks to the Cab Sav influence, we found the wine to be slightly more full-bodied and beautifully layered, with no single flavour or varietal playing an overly dominant role.

“There’s Merlot on the nose, Cab Sav on the palate with a nice acidity, and Cab Franc’s floral follow-through.” AJ notes adding, “Although on paper this blend may be Cabernet dominant, the different components come through beautifully.”

Jacques agrees: “Thanks to our type of soil here, we’re not looking to produce a heavy red wine, but rather one that’s more approachable at a relatively early age. That being said, I find this wine to be unusually complex for such a light, easy-drinking red wine.”

Certainly not a one-dimensional wine, we kept on picking up different qualities as the time progressed. Faring excellently at present, we surmised that this vintage would only get better over the next few years (if indeed, any unopened bottles survive that long).

Speaking of survival, Constantia Uitsig’s vineyards continue to thrive under Jacques’ capable care. “We’ve been pulling out quite a lot of vines, but planting an equal amount of new ones too.”

The reason behind the changes are two-fold. Whilst some of our white vines were not healthy and needed replacing, Jacques would also like to explore a few new red options…

“Although our white wines and varietals have proven themselves, in the valley and at Uitsig specifically, I’d like to experiment with some new Shiraz vines and see what styles and cultivars work best with our terroir, appellation and soil.”

Jacques’ end goal? “An aromatic, light, elegant style suits our sandy soil. I’m excited for what the future holds…”

In the mean time, open a bottle of Red Horizon 2013 and watch it bloom in your glass.

If you insist on pairing it with a dish, we all agreed that light Italian fare would be a wonderful partner – from a great pizza to tomato-based pasta dishes.

Check out our next post on which pasta would be ideal. And if you’re close to our Wine Shop anytime before the end of May, pop in to claim your FREE bottle of Red Horizon 2013 with every 6 bottles of unwooded Chardonnay purchased.