Limited Hartenberg 2017 Masterpieces

Jan 11, 2024 | All, Local wines | 0 comments

A recent visit to Hartenberg was impressive, with decades of dedication evident in the estate’s detailed approach on all levels. Their two flagship wines from the tremendous 2017 vintage, the iconic Gravel Hill Syrah and The Mackenzie 2017, are both brilliant manifestations.

Carl Schultz, who joined Hartenberg in 1993, has much to celebrate after three decades at the helm. In addition to numerous winemaking accolades and substantial farm and vineyard improvements, there is the experience of crafting the best from exceptional vintages, such as the notably fine 2017 vintage. These wines exhibit incredible depth, complexity, and freshness, and this is a fantastic opportunity to procure wines that are both ready to enjoy, yet with decades ahead. We have a limited parcel of each available.

The Hartenberg Gravel Hill Syrah has become an iconic wine since introduced. From a single vineyard planted in 1968, it was first launched on the CWG platform in the mid 1990’s and sold for a record price of only R65 per bottle! Subsequently, it was selected by Carl’s peers for a record 15 consecutive years for the auction. The Gravel Hill 2017 release is poised to age brilliantly, showcasing impressive layers of complexity. It is not lacking in power but rather posseses genuine gravitas, yet remains elegant and bone dry.

The Mackenzie 2017 beautifully illustrates why 2017 was an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in Stellenbosch. Constituting 93% of the blend, the wine is a remarkable fusion of dark, brooding cassis, interwoven with tobacco, leather, earth, and and bay leaf etched freshness. This is an outstanding wine, characterised by ‘tremendous structure,’ as noted by Tim Atkin MW.

Regenerative farming, a buzzword today, has been an integral part of Hartenberg since 2010 already. Cattle were introduced in 2017, and by 2019, numerous regenerative practices were firmly established. It is well worth reading all that has been achieved over the last three decades.

Tasting Notes:

Hartenberg The Mackenzie 2017

‘The Mackenzie blend has no Petit Verdot or Malbec in 2017 – they’re only used in warmer years – so this is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Bay leaf and mint aromas are your passport to a wine with inky depths, serious tannins, toasty 60% new wood and tremendous structure. The Château Léoville-Las-Cases of the Cape.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2021, 95/100

‘93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot. Matured for 19 months in barrel, 50% new. Red currant, cassis, violets, some leafiness and pencil shavings on the nose while the palate has beautiful structure – medium bodied with great clarity of fruit, bright acidity and fine-grained tannins, the finish long and dry. An elegant wine (no matter its alcohol of 14.5%) that captures all that is good about this excellent vintage.’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 95/100

Hartenberg Gravel Hill Syrah 2017

‘Gravel Hill was planted in 1968 and was one of the first single vineyard wines in South Africa. Violet and wild herb aromas segue into a palate that’s powerful, layered and perfumed, with serious Cornas-like tannins, compact dark berry fruit flavours, fresh acidity and well-integrated 80% new wood.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2021, 95/100

‘Matured for 19 months in barrel, 60% new. Red and black berries, smoky reduction, fynbos and pepper on the nose while the palate has succulent fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins. This is a powerful wine (alcohol: 14.5%) but it’s simultaneously poised and tightly knit. Full of flavour with a long and reassuringly dry finish.’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 95/100

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