A Taste of De Grendel’s Proposal Hill Brut Rosé

South African wine enthusiasts got quite excited when De Grendel launched their Proposal Hill Brut Rosé. Their wines have been consistently good – meticulous even – but never predictable or boring. Proposal Hill Brut Rosé does not disappoint. It’s a complex wine with a weightier palate, but at the same time playful and sexy, fabulously packaged (it even comes in a very giftable box) and so good with a variety of dishes.

The historic Graaff family has been making wine at De Grendel for two generations. On the western reaches of the farm, one particular hill has seen more than a couple of marriage proposals, which led the Graaffs to immortalise it by bestowing on it the name, Proposal Hill. When it came to naming their most celebratory wine to date, the name came naturally.

The Pinot Noir grapes used in this vivacious Cap Classique were grown at De Grendel’s farm in Durbanville. “For us, the Pinot Noir growing here is more suitable for MCC production due to sight soil and ocean influences,” says Charles Hopkins, cellarmaster at De Grendel. The grapes that so define the winery’s Pinot Noir red wine, on the other hand, hail from Ceres, where the climate is more continental, with hot days and cool nights pervading at 970 metres above sea level.

Charles attributes Proposal Hill’s bone-dry character to the grapes’ proximity to the ocean, which lend them a firm and racy acidity. “This is why we put the base wine through malolactic fermentation, which is unique, to remove the hard greenness of the malic acid and give the wine a creamier taste.”



The maiden vintage Proposal Hill Brut Rosé 2016 is made from 100% Pinot Noir grown on the western slope of the Tygerberg hill on De Grendel, overlooked by the original homestead built by the first baronet Graaff, the vines enjoying the same view that Sir De Villiers and Lady Graaff treasured all those years ago. 

De Grendel Brut Rosé has all the hallmarks of a traditional, meticulously constructed Cap Classique, with the added allure of being playful and exciting, Hopkins said. Complex and with a weightier palate than the average sparkling wine, this bone-dry rosé has a fine and persistent mousse introducing hints of oyster shell and fresh lavender on the nose. Intense strawberry coulis and black cherry flavours are well-balanced by firm acidity and linger in the exceptionally long finish. 

Proposal Hill Brut Rosé 2016 makes an ideal welcoming drink with canapés for summer celebrations and festive occasions, or to add sparkle to al fresco meals, a picnic or garden party. It makes for enjoyable sipping on its own as a sundowner with good company, and its fine bubbles and intense flavour will awaken the palate for pairing with food.