We took a trip recently to Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek, South Africa to meet Anya Grobler, the woman behind Infinity Wines. Anya introduced us to the First XI Wines and filled us in on the journey the team has taken in creating their wines.
The story began in 2013. Four friends and legendary cricketing heroes, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Mike Hussey and Stephen Fleming enjoyed a meal together where they discussed a shared vision: to make a wine of excellent quality and craftsmanship.
Faf introduced the cricketers to Infinity Wines which led to the creation of First XI Wines. All the First XI Wines are made at Rickety Bridge by winemaker Wynand Grobler. The first wine released as a result of this collaboration was the First XI The Belter 2014.
Hard To Find Wines currently stocks The Belter 2015, a Rhone-style blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Tannat and Viognier. Silky soft on the palate with succulent tannins and notes of white pepper, red fruit, chocolate and cherry tobacco on the nose, the wine was matured in small French oak barrels for 15 months. All grapes used to make this wine were hand-picked. The Belter is a very accessible, good quality wine with good aging ability. Only 6,000 bottles were produced.
Enjoy The Belter with ostrich or beef carpaccio, duck, venison and rump steak with pepper sauce.
The First XI The Partnership is the flagship of the First XI Wines. It is an intriguing, multi-dimensional, Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. It shows great concentration and length with pureness and focus on the palate. A red fruit driven wine with silky but present tannins shape, the wine spends 20 months in oak barrels. Only 4,000 bottles were produced.
The Partnership pairs well with a slow roasted leg of lamb.
The First XI The Centurion is a single varietal Cinsault, irresistible and well-balanced with bright, ruby-red hues. This wine is produced from old, unirrigated bushvines planted in 1954, selected for unique, prominent terroir flavours. Only 10% of the wine was aged in older French oak barrels with the rest being stored in stainless steel tanks. The resulting wine presents aromas of cherry, red berry, white pepper and some spicy notes on the nose and savoury, spice and fruit flavours complimented by freshness and subtle oaking on the palate.
An ideal pairing for The Centurion is roasted springbok or venison loin.
In celebration of the arrival of First XI Wines in the UK, through Hard To Find Wines, for two weeks only, we have this fantastic prize up for grabs:
1. a cricket bat signed by South African cricketers Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers
2. a case of First XI Wines created by Faf and AB and the team at Infinity Wines.
Enter our prize draw to stand a chance to win this super prize! Click here to enter online: https://gleam.io/cCqTI/hard-to-find-wines-first-xi-wines-competition or to enter through Facebook: https://gleam.io/fb/cCqTI.
Prize draw open to UK residents only. You must be over 18 to enter. No purchase necessary. Prize draw closes Sunday, 15 April 2018. See full Terms and Conditions when you enter.