The wines of Haskell Vineyards and Dombeya
Visiting this grand new estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Haskell Vineyards, PO Box 12766, Die Boord, Stellenbosch, 7613
Tel:  +27 21 881 3895
Website: www.haskellvineyards.co.za 
E-mail: info@haskellvineyards.com

The Haskell farm was purchased in 2002 by Moscow-based Preston Haskell IV, the son of a wealthy American (Preston Haskell III) who owns the Florida-based Haskell Construction Company. Set in a beautiful location on the slopes of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch, neighbouring Rust en Vrede, it was called Dombeya at the time of purchase, and it had previously been a citrus farm. The current vineyard was planted in 1999 and 2002. 

The project started under the Dombeya brand, but it changed to Haskell in 2006, with the Dombeya name retained for a foundation range of easier-drinking wines. The first Haskell wines were released in 2009 (small quantities of the 2007 vintage).


Rianie Strydom

I met with consultant winemaker Rianie Strydom for a tasting and lunch, along with general manager Wikus Pretorius. Rianie had left Morgenhof and was freelancing when the opportunity to work for Haskell came up in 2005; she ended up working full time as winemaker here, but is now back consulting. 


Wikus Pretorius

A restaurant, the Long Table, was added in 2009. Itís a lovely location for lunch, looking over the vineyards, and the food is very good. 


Lunch at the Long Table

There are 15 hectares of vineyards here, and Haskell is all estate grown with the exception of some of the grapes for the Aeon (a Syrah) which come from a neighbouring farm on the Helderberg. 


Young vines

THE WINES

Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Fresh and grassy with nice fruit, showing some generosity and fresh acidity. Good body and acidity: a bright style. 89/100

Dombeya Chardonnay 2010 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Fresh with some citrus notes and buttery, toasty richness. A nice, fresh, savoury style with some nuttiness. 88/100

Dombeya Merlot 2008 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Very attractive with sweet blackberry and spice notes as well as some subtle earthiness. Balanced with a bit of gravelly character. Very stylish. 89/100

Dombeya Boulder Road Shiraz 2008 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Lovely meaty wine with warm spicy notes, and some olive character. Lively, peppery aromatics, too. Nice meaty, peppery palate with berry fruits to the fore. 90/100

Dombeya Samara 2006 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Spicy, earthy and lively with a savoury, earthy character and a grippy finish. 86/100

Dombeya Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Attractive chalky, gravelly blackcurrant fruit. Quite savoury with dense fruit and good structure, and a slight earthy edge. 88/100

Haskell Anvil 2010 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is a Chardonnay. Fine, fresh toasty nose is taut and quite mineral with fresh lemony fruit. Taut, crisp palate showing citrus fruit and real precision. Good acidity, with just a touch of toastiness. Almost Chablis-like in style, but with a bit of oak. 92/100

Haskell Pillars 2008 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is a Syrah. Aromatic, pure, meaty cherry and plum fruit nose. Ripe and meaty. Quite an elegant style. The palate is ripe yet balanced with some meat and olive notes as well as lovely ripe fruit. Elegance rather than power here. 93/100

Haskell Aeon 2008 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Syrah with 5% Mourv
Ťdre. Fresh, ripe and vivid with plum and blackberry fruit. Nicely elegant with good freshness. No rough edges here: rounded, with a hint of savoury meat and olive. Very nice tannins. 92/100

Haskell IV 2007 Stellenbosch, South Africa
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Taut, ripe and quite fresh with powerful blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Some firm spiciness. The palate is ripe and concentrated, but measured with some lovely firm structure. Lovely berry fruits and a bit of grip. 94/100

Haskell II 2009 Stellenbosch, South Africa
50% Shiraz, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Mourv
Ťdre. Nicely elegant, refined nose showing fresh ripe berry and cherry fruit. Supple berryish palate with nice freshness and good tannins. Really elegant, ripe style with some interesting chocolatey, spicy notes. 92/100

Wines tasted 11/11  
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