10-11-2011

At Rainbow’s End

When choosing a name such as Rainbow’s End for a winery, you should probably make sure that the locale lives up to it. Naturally, this is the case for the Malan family whose winery really and truly is at the end of where probably any rainbows can form. With a majestic view over their vineyards ranging from 350m to 540m in elevation, they’re quite a gem, tucked away at the end of the Banghoek Valley.

Franchois Malan is the father of the family as well as the winemaker who was a civil engineer when he bought the farm in 1978. They only started producing wines in 2000 with 2002 for their first vintage; a Shiraz of just 2,000 bottles. These days they put out 25,000 bottles a year and sell off any additional grapes to other vineyards in the area as their cellar would need to be heavily increased to produce more.

Their tasting fee is a nominal R 15 which is worth it not only for the view, but also their great wines.

The 2008 Rosé is a blend of all their varieties. It’s a typical Rosé with strawberry in the nose that comes in to the body a bit as well as touched of apricot. The body is not easy drinking and flippantly poundable like a lot of Rosés. This is actually a good thing though as it presents itself as more complex, meaty, and interesting. There is still a typical, sweetish Rosé finish though. R 32.50

The 2008 Shiraz is from a single vineyard that is east facing and planted in 2000. The nose is light without a heavy trace of oak to it despite being fully aged in oak from start to finish. There’s a bit of cinnamon as well. The body itself is pretty heavy in fruit with the nose coming in to it a good deal and the finish is clean and pleasant. R 98

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has an absolutely wonderful nose. There is a slight degree of oak, but it’s still well balanced. A bit of tobacco on the nose comes through as well that gives a good deal of initial darkness to it. There’s a touch of chocolate to the body with a lovely structure that is dark and heavy, but at the same time well-balanced. The finish is light and while not jammy, it is still full of ripe fruit elements. R 98

We talk a great deal more about the wines of Stellenbosch and other Cape Town wineries in our Stellenbosch wine guide.