Oldenburg Vineyards

Rondekop Rhodium

South Africa, Stellenbosch


Rondekop Rhodium

Great wines are often influenced by hills. At Rondekop the granite hilltop generates cool breezes allowing air movement through the vines even on windless days - ideal conditions for their Cabernet Franc, Merlot blend. Blackcurrants, green tomatos, undertones of nutmeg, vanilla and coffee - steak would be an easy choice.

WBSS24 Rondekop Rhodium 2021

Introduction to The Rondekop Series Wines

The Rondekop Series wines represent a small selection of the best barrels from either a single cultivar, or a blend of cultivars from iconic Rondekop hill. Here there are eight natural elements which uniquely impact the vineyards, creating quintessential wine producing conditions - with the perfectly round hill, Rondekop, at the centre of it all: the eighth natural element.


Rondekop: The Eighth Natural Element

Rondekop forms the centrepiece of these vineyards, rising to an elevation of 410m. The soils on Rondekop are mineral rich: weathered sandstones and granites with iron, manganese and various other rare trace elements. Varying from rocky to intensely rocky, the soil has high water retention due to the clay sub-soil.The shape of the hill itself generates a gentle breeze, allowing beneficial air movement through the vines even on warm, windless days. Vines are juxtaposed between warm sunlight and the cooling impact of elevation and cool breezes.

The Interplay of Natural Elements

This confluence of natural elements is rarely found in a single location. The interplay between them creates a rich biodiversity and this richness in turn creates complexity and a deep and wide flavour spectrum in our wines. The coolness brings a fresh, balanced acidity while the warm sunshine develops phenolic ripeness (the ripeness of the whole bunch, including tannin changes in the skin and seeds, as opposed to ripeness only in terms of the sugar in the juice).


Rhodium: A Right Bank Bordeaux Blend

Rhodium is our Right Bank Bordeaux blend - Cabernet Franc led, with Merlot and small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, although the composition changes slightly from vintage to vintage. Named after the precious metal - Rhodium - which occurs naturally with the platinum group of metals, Rhodium is considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable metals in the world. Eighty-five to ninety percent of all Rhodium is mined in South Africa and it is used in the making of luxury jewellery.

Oldenburg’s Precious Analogy

Oldenburg’s owner, Adrian Vanderspuy, has been fascinated by (and involved with) precious metals for many years. To his mind, South Africa being the primary source of such a unique, precious material provides the perfect analogy for the incredible potential of South African wine - and specifically the stunning quality of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grown on Rondekop.

The Source of Merlot and Cabernet Franc for Rhodium

The Merlot for Rhodium comes from ‘The Long Block’ of Merlot at the foot of Rondekop which has an ideal layer of clay in the subsoil structure. This allows the roots of the vines to access moisture, which is vital to quality Merlot fruit production. The Cabernet Franc is from a block located close to the Merlot and adds herbal notes to the Merlot’s dark fruit characteristics.


Primary aromas dominate the nose; dark fruits, blackcurrants and green tomato with an undertone of nutmeg, the aromas gain in intensity as the wine airs in the glass. On the palate vanilla and coffee flavours are supported by bright acidity and a salty finish. Still a youngster, this wine will only improve with age.


The intensity and complexity of this young, vibrant Cabernet Franc dominant wine would counteract the richness of a steak or barbecued pork with grilled onions.


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WBSS24 Rondekop Rhodium 2021

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