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2020 GRENACHE NOIR, The Foundry. Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bin:  495

Alcohol percentage:  13.5%

Grape variety:

100% Grenache


The Foundry was formed in 2000 between Chris Williams – the then head winemaker at the renowned Meerlust estate – and business partner James Reid. Within 4 years they were receiving a rare 5* award from South Africa’s leading critic – John Platter – for their 2001 Syrah. Chris’s partnership with Meerlust finished amicably in 2019, leaving him to focus fully on The Foundry.

The Foundry has a new and permanent home in the Paardeberg at Staart, the farm that the Reid family bought in the late 2000’s. Apart from the vines here, there is also an existing cellar. It’s where, incidentally, that the great Eben Sadie made the first vintage of Columella in 2000.

Although Chris also makes an excellent Chenin Blanc, his focus from day one has been very much on Rhône varietals – both white and red. Grenache is the main grape behind Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the fruit was sourced from a 1ha vineyard at Fijndraai in Stellenbosch (just 4km from False Bay) on decomposed granite soil. The vineyard is Northwest facing and was planted in 2005. 2020 was a lovely vintage though yields were down.


Hand harvested and cooled overnight, the grapes were partially destemmed and crushed with some whole berries and bunches remaining. About 20 % of stalks were used. The first stage of fermentation was with wild yeast, then with a neutral Rhône strain inoculated later to complete fermentation. 70% of the free run was barrel aged in seasoned French oak, with the remaining 30% aged in clay amphora and eggs. The blend was then assembled after 11 months and bottled.

Old Bridge rating:

There is a real touch of the Southern Rhône in the style here. A medium bodied wine with plenty of red berry and soft red fruit flavours, with a touch of pepper, savoury, with fine grained tannins.

You can enjoy now but can equally age for another 2-3 years. No need to decant and can be enjoyed served cool in the summer months.


£20.85 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£19.76 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles