Winter calls for all things Bordeaux!

Tasting room manager Rodrick has hand-selected these wines showcasing the splendour of The Mackenzie and the varieties that make up the blend. Read more about each wine below including the vineyard blocks, soil types, and what each variety contributes to this quintessential Bordeaux Blend. 

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R 1450

The Mackenzie 2016

Our flagship Bordeaux-style blend made from grapes sourced from our finest Bordeaux varietal vineyards. It is always Cabernet Sauvignon led, with the four other varietals contributing in varying degrees depending on vintage conditions.

Carl describes Cabernet Sauvignon as the ‘skeleton’ of The Mackenzie, and there are Cabernet vines planted on 2 main soil types in the 3 best vineyards. The grapes from vineyards on deep clay-loam provide better quality fruit in the warmer years (such as 2005, 2008, 2010, 2016), and grapes from vineyards on iron-laterite soils giving better quality fruit in the cooler years (such as 2007, 2012, 2014).

That being said, Carl tastes wines from the different parcels without a preconceived notion when deciding on the blend, to achieve harmony between aromatics and structure.

Cabernet brings acidity and tannins to the blend, ensuring superb aging potential,  a hallmark of this wine, and the blackcurrant and cigar box aromas are quintessentially Bordeaux in style. 

Merlot makes up 19% of the blend, adding plump, lush red fruit to The Mackenzie, and is the ‘filling’ that lends a rich texture to Cabernet’s ‘skeleton’.

Malbec contributes 2% of The Mackenzie, and brings wild berry flavour, juicy mid-palate texture and deep colour to the blend.

Tenacity Merlot 2014

Merlot vines are, generally speaking, planted on two main soil types, with its affinity for clay-rich soil satisfied in vineyards on the southern side of the farm. The deep clay-loam soils cool the vines in the warmer vintages, critical for Merlot with its tendency to over-ripen, and wines tend to be plusher. In cooler vintages such as 2014, vines planted in shallower, stoney soils produce wines with better balance and more structure.

As with every component, the
cellar master’s palate determines the Merlot blend for The Mackenzie, which is then matured in French oak barrels. Two barrels were set aside for consideration for the CWG auction, and eventually found their way into the Tenacity Merlot.

 The wine is reaching its drinking window now, and will, according to Carl’s expert palate, mature a further decade to even greater heights.

As with The Mackenzie, our Tenacity Merlot 2014 offers plump, lush red fruit.

Tenacity Malbec 2017

Hartenberg boasts the mother block of the Malbec clone MC279, the first of this clone planted in South Africa, back in 2001. The vineyard is north facing and on the upper slopes to ‘mimic’ the conditions of Malbec’ s spiritual home, Mendoza. The vines grow in deep alluvial soils, in a sheltered site on the southern end of the farm. This variety is sensitive to wind and significant amounts of a vintage’s crop can be lost at flowering as a result of poor weather.

 The outstanding 2017 growing season produced excellent quality fruit for almost all varieties, and Malbec, that is rarely bottled as a single varietal, reached the level of intensity, complexity and balance that is expected of a CWG wine. With its rich, fleshy texture, ripe plum tone and floral aroma, it is more akin to the Argentinian style than the ‘Black wines of the Cahors’.      

As with The Mackenzie, Tenacity Malbec 2017 has a wild berry flavour, juicy mid-palate texture and deep colour.