Perron X  – A rare old vine collection to invest in

Old vine Skoonheid wine farm

By Renate Engelbrecht

Friday, Oct 07

There is something special in drinking a wine made from an old vine. Skoonheid Wine Farm’s Andrea Lubbe says: “The viticulturist and winemaker are not only tending to the vineyard, but they are also preserving heritage.” That’s exactly what the idea around Vin de Classique, producer of the premium Vrede range’s brand-new collection, Perron X was.

Perron X

The name pays tribute to the cross of the Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut) cultivars, in creating the uniquely South African cultivar. And, a clever play on the surnames of the men who created a lasting legacy for South African winemaking makes it all the more special. Prof Abraham Izak Perold created the cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. Prof. CJ Theron succeeded in rescuing and reproducing the original seedlings, of which there were only four. And, winemaker Charl Theron de Waal produced the very first barrel of Pinotage in 1941.

Together with Skoonheid farm manager, Marais Joubert, winemaker Guillaume Nell nurtured and manicured the chosen old vine to perfection over the past few years. Guillaume says with old vines like these, you need to have a very sensitive approach. “It’s like visiting your grandpa. You need to work softly with the grapes.” He says the vision with the block was to take the vineyard and bring out the best of it; to reflect what goes on in the vineyard.

Skoonheid Perron X old vine

The grapes were harvested by hand and only the best parts of the old vine vineyard were used. Guillaume says it’s interesting to see how an old vine just knows how much fruit to carry. He says a younger vine is like a teenager – it’s ‘clever’ but doesn’t have the emotional intelligence of an older vine and often carries more fruit than what it’s able to carry. An old vine knows.

As a lover of unique wines – making wines like Verdelho and Pinot Gris under his own label, Lýsa Wines too – Guillaume says it’s been an incredible journey to make wine from such an old vine. “My approach from the outset was to express the characteristics of the vineyard, and not focus on the colour or tannin extraction but rather witness over a period of time how the vineyard naturally reveals its multitude of flavours.”

Matured for 14 months in 40% new and 60% old tight-grain French oak barrels, Perron X doesn’t have an overwhelmingly wooded flavour, but rather natural fruit flavours. The colour is deep ruby garnet and you’ll find tomato leaves, red berries and cassis on the nose. Guillaume says the wine reminds one of a Pinot Noir rather than Pinotage, and he believes that it is a wine that will age very well.

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Skoonheid wine farm
Skoonheid wine farm

Perron X is said to have the ability to age for up to 25 years, which means it is a great investment. The investment has the potential of reaching even further, though. Those purchasing the collection will automatically join the Perron X wine club, which allows access to an annual virtual tasting with winemaker, Guillaume and well-known sommeliers, tasting one of the uniquely named and individually numbered 750ml bottles (one per year for four years) to uncover the evolution of the wine over time. The final tasting will be that of the Magnum bottle in year five.

Plus, as a member of the Perron X wine club, you will also form part of Vin de Classique’s drive in strengthening the South African Sommeliers Association by sponsoring 100 introductory Sommelier course certificates. This is aimed at any service professional looking to learn the basic skills of professional beverage service.

You will also have the first opportunity to purchase each year’s newly released vintage of the 1975 Vineyard Perron X to add to your collection if you are a member.

Perron X collection

If you’re a wine lover who appreciates the heritage of South African wines, this collection is a great one to invest in.

Follow the journey of the wine on YouTube under Vin de Classique’s channel, Grape to Glass.

You can buy the Perron X collection and club membership online at R4500. It’s also available exclusively at selected Makro stores.

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