The Barrydale region has a long history of brandy making and Barrydale Cellar has built on this to become one of South Africa’s top pot still brandy producers, competing with – and beating – international brands at international level. But there is more than brandy to the cellar.
Its Barrydale range of wines carries the name of the country’s smallest region of origin, Tradouw. Grapes for the range are grown on a mere 15km x 3km, a unique, fruitful pocket in the breathtaking Langeberg Mountains where vines flourish naturally. The result is a taste that is undeniably Barrydale.
At the beginning of 2005, the cellar joined forces with the neighbouring Ladismith Cellar and formed Southern Cape Vineyards, an umbrella company, to share and exchange technology and capacity to make the most – and the best – of the resources available to them.
The Joseph Barry Traditional Cape Pot Still Brandy and sons, is however a more rounded product, and has clearly benefited from the extra aging. With a 50/50 split between Colombar and St Emilion grapes, the nose profile is much more traditional of Cape pot still brandy, with the classic dried fruit and peaches coming through. Still bottled at 40% abv it is rounder and smoother than the 3 year old, but still a bit sharp on the swallow, perhaps from the higher alcohol percentage.
The pinnacle of the range though, and recently benefiting from a stunning packaging overhaul is the Joseph Barry 10 year old cape potstill brandy. Made with the same grape combination as the 5 year old, the extra long aging and more traditional potstill bottling strength of 38% make this a simply superb product. Lots of fruit, and vanilla, and noticeably different to the 5year old, made with exactly the same grapes.