The Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo: A Wine That Will Make You Shout, “Mamma Mia!”
If you’re looking for a wine that will challenge your taste buds and make you feel at home, look no further than the Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo. Inspired by the Italian wines, the winemaker of Du Toitskloof embarked on a quest to create a South African Nebbiolo, a quest that began almost 20 years ago. The Winemaker then saw the connection between the wine and soil, and he acted on it. Nebbiolo was then planted at Dagbreek farm, where the river mirrors Piedmont’s beauty.
Introduction to Nebbiolo
Nebbiolo, the wine of mists A ruby red that can’t be missed A bouquet of flowers and spices A taste of cherries and licorice A wine that ages with grace A wine that pairs with many plates Nebbiolo, the wine of kings A wine that makes your heart sing!
There’s a mystery behind the name Nebbiolo. Some people say it’s from the Italian word ‘nebbia’, meaning fog, because the grapes are picked when the fog rolls in during October. Others think it’s from the word “nobile,” meaning noble, because it’s the King of Italian wines.
Nebbiolo is an Italian (Northern Italy) cultivar which produces red wines that are high in acidity and tannins. You will normally find red fruit such as plums and red cherries aromas, dried herbs, and at times even a floral characteristic.
Due to high tannin levels, most winemakers prefer to mature the wine for extended periods either in new or old oak barrels to help soften the tannins. As the wine ages you will pick up tertiary notes of leather, tobacco and mushrooms.
Experiencing the Du Toits Kloof Nebbiollo
Imagine you are walking in a garden full of flowers, where the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. You see a basket of fresh fruits on a table, and you feel tempted to taste them. You pick a strawberry, a raspberry, and a cherry, and you bite into them one by one. You are delighted by their sweet and juicy flavors, and you inhale their fragrant aromas. You also notice some violets and rose petals on the table, and you smell their delicate perfumes.
You decide to sit down and relax, and you see a bottle of wine next to the basket. You are curious to try it, so you pour yourself a glass. You swirl it around and bring it to your nose. You are surprised by the intensity of the smell, which reminds you of the fruits you just ate, but also of something else. You detect some plums, some wild berries, new leather shoes, and grandads’ tobacco pipe. There is a spicyness of pepper, cinnamon, and herbs. You are intrigued by the complexity of the wine, and you wonder how it will taste.
You take a sip and let it roll over your tongue. You are impressed by the balance of the wine, which has a medium body and a smooth texture. You feel the acidity of the wine, which makes your mouth water and your taste buds tingle. It reminds you of the tartness of cranberries, which you love. You also feel the tannins of the wine, which give it some structure and grip. They remind you of the leather and tobacco you smelled before, which add some character to the wine.
You swallow the wine and enjoy the finish, which is long and satisfying. You taste all the flavors that you smelled before, but in a different order and intensity. You feel like you have just experienced a journey through different sensations and emotions, and you are happy with your choice.
You look at the label of the bottle and read: Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo. You smile and think: This is a wine that will make me say “Mamma Mia!”
Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo in the Cellar
Wine of Origin:
Vines are grown in sandy loam and weathered scale type soil. Controlled irrigation is applied as moisture levels are measured by neutron hydrometers. Leaf canopies are carefully managed to ensure the berries receive adequate sunlight.
In The Cellar:
Grapes are picked when reaching optimum physiological ripeness at 26° Balling. After crushing and de-stemming, the mash is pumped over to rotor tanks and left on the skins for three days at between 10°C to 15°C.
Fermentation follows with rotor tanks turned every 4-6 hours. After primary fermentation that lasts for 6-7 days, the wine is racked, skins pressed, and malolactic fermentation takes place. The wine is then matured for 16 months in 70% French oak and 30% Hungarian oak before bottling.
Winemakers Tasting Notes:
This deep coloured, full-flavoured wine shows aromas of dark cherry and aniseed whilst erupting with the seductively scented bouquet of violets and roses. Subtle nuances of new leather and oaky undertones that finish with sweet ripe tannins.
The Legacy of the Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo
Grapes are sourced from along the river on the Dagbreek Farm which is well known for achieving
dense and thick early morning fog in the winter months. Since making the Italian variety in 2004, Du Toitskloof remain one of only a few select wineries in South Africa to produce this wine.
What food will best go with the Du Toits Nebbiolo
Bring out the biggest plates for a cross-over of heritage flavours. Deep, savoury ragu spooned over creamy pap with lashings of Parmesan cheese, frikkadelle baked in a robust pomodoro, saucy shredded venison on pappardelle. Big wine, big bowls of lasagna, big braais.