Introducing South African Audacia
Professor Wessel Du Toit of the Stellenbosch University, in South Africa, has conducted some research into the benefits of using plants and wood abstracts in the wine-making process, as opposed to the traditional use of oak which is not indigenous to South Africa and therefore must be imported from France or America.
His findings resoundingly suggested that indigenous Rooibos wood would be the best alternative, owing to it being high in natural anti-oxidants. The use of Rooibos would also negate the need for sulphur dioxides to be added to the wine during fermentation; making Rooibos-infused wine a much healthier alternative to oak-infused wine.
“From our research thus far, we have ascertained that the Rooibos wood releases antioxidants into the wine which are exclusive to the species. It is also clear that the Rooibos and Honeybush wood imparts very distinctive and unique wine flavours” (Professor Wessel Du Toit). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Rooibos plant, it has a very distinct flavour, and like Marmite, it has an acquired taste!
The leaves of the Rooibos plant are traditionally used to make tea; however, it is the wood of the plant, not the leaves which are used in the making of Rooibos infused Merlot. Stellenbosch Audacia, are the first winemakers to release Rooibos-infused Merlot; the Stellenbosch Audacia Merlot has been matured in Rooibos and indigenous Honeybush wood chips for eight months prior to being bottled.
Stellenbosch Audacia has recently been patented, boasts exceptionally low sulphur dioxide levels of just 3mg per litre and is hailed to have a truly “distinctive and unique flavour”. Audacia has recently been released in the South African Wine market.
Have you tried Stellenbosch Audacia Rooibos Merlot? If so, please let us know whether you love it or hate it by leaving a review in our comment box! My Mum is a prolific drinker of Rooibos tea, so I am sure she will adore it!
For more information on Stellenbosch Audacia Rooibos-Infused Merlot, read the full article at: http://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2014/03/south-african-winery-launches-rooibos-infused-merlot.
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By Stephanie Murphy