The House of Van Ryn's has produced a once-off Collection of blended 10-year-old potstill brandy for the Nederburg Charity Auction, intended as a expression of original brandy craft.
This showpiece item was created from six single vintage potstill brandies and distilled using the traditional Charentaise method – meaning that it was produced in an original copper potstill from the Cognac region in France. The reserve price for this once-off collection is R25 000.
"The base wine was double-distilled at Van Ryn's in the 199-year-old Charentaise copper potstill which comprises of a characteristically-shaped boiler heated the traditional way, by a wood fire," said Caroline Snyman, Director of Luxury Goods for Distell.
The brandies, made from Colombar grapes, were matured in handcrafted French oak barrels. "The final blend is un-chill filtered for extra flavour and texture, made for a savvy consumer who prefers their spirits made naturally."
The Van Ryn's Master Distiller Marlene Bester was charged with combining the six individual brandies to create one master blend. "The nose has fruity notes of red berries and apricots, hints of flowers with sweet spices and leather nuances from the time spent aging in oak barrels," Bester said. "On the palate, this multi-layered brandy combines nutty, toasty well-integrated wood characters with creamy chocolate for an exceptionally smooth and velvety finish."
The owner of this collection will be encouraged to experiment with the six single vintage brandies to create their own master blend. "The Collection is an invitation to the successful bidder to try their hand at the art of blending. Who knows, maybe they will discover a hidden talent," Snyman said.
The Collection is presented in a crystal decanter which resembles the shape of the Van Ryn's potstill and is displayed in a leather and wooden case, containing a hand-bound leather journal with a note from Bester detailing the tasting notes of the components and the master blend. A Mont Blanc pen accompanies the notebook.
To complete the experience, the winning bidder will have the item hand delivered to their door by Distell Brandy Ambassador Nick Holdcroft, who will then conduct a blending and tasting experience.
The annual Nederburg Charity Auction will be conducted at the conclusion of the main auction on Saturday, September 13, and will raise funds for The Breytenbach Centre in Wellington and the Hope Through Action project, by auctioning unusual wine items.