The Union is one of two red wines in the Paserene Range, made predominantly from Syrah and supported by Carignan and Mourvèdre. As with the Marathon, the grapes are sourced from Tulbagh, known for producing rich red wines demonstrated by the Union.
Tulbagh is a tranquil town in the north-western corner of the Breede River Valley, that has a combination of soils with the Syrah growing on acrid, scaly soils while the Carignan and Mourvèdre grow in loamy soils that produce a softer and more fragrant wine. The Syrah’s soils cannot support a heavy crop load and work hard to produce just two tons per hectare. The hot Tulbagh climate with cool evenings moderates and encourages the berries to full ripeness.
The grapes go through a long fermentation in open-top concrete tanks for a month ensuring the intense character and colour of the three cultivars is imparted into the wine. The wine is transferred into third and fourth fill French oak barrels for gentle wooding that maintains the truly bright and fruity integrity of the wine. The wine languishes for 16 months in the barrel gently integrating, with the final unification taking place once bottled and stored in the Paserene cellars for a year before release.
The resulting wine has an inky intense colour with a nose of dark fruits and a complex character. The nose opens with ripe blueberry, hints of floral violets and a soft smokiness that leads to bacon fat that guarantees your mouth will be watering. On the first sip, it is clear that the charismatic nose translates to the palate allowing even more complexity to unfold. Juicy blackberries and black plum are balanced with tangy raspberry and red fruits supported with a hint of bitter iodine and sweet cola. The palate is further enhanced by charcoal and savoury bacon along with a full, yet ripe, tannin structure that carries this complex wine to a long-lasting finish.
The intense quality of this wine is already rewarding if allowed to breathe and relax through decanting and promises to gain complexity over time through cellaring for years to come. This unique wine is surprisingly versatile when it comes to food pairings. The first thought is of rich red meat dishes such as a medium-rare ribeye or even wild game, flame-grilled, and adding complex smoky notes. The Union also effortlessly pairs with a decadent selection of cheeses like rich and tangy Stilton with a red berry preserve highlighting the juicy fruit character of the wine. This wine will also pair with a decadent dark chocolate tart, with the innate fruitiness of cocoa complimenting the fruit character in the wine that cuts through the toasted buttery crust.
This luxury red wine showcases the hardy character of the Tulbagh terroir in this full-bodied and elegant wine, the first aromatic sip will transport you to this tranquil town. When you drink this hand-crafted wine, you are creating a moment in time that translates into so much more than just a bottle of wine.