Rolling River


Grenache 42%

Shiraz 32%

Mourvedre 18%

Cinsault 8%

Rhone Styled Blend
W.O. Swartland

  • Oak
  • Full Body
  • Tannins
  • Acidity
  • Fruit Intensity
All about this wine

This 100% Swartland beauty is made with hand-picked grapes from specially selected vineyards surrounding the majestic Kasteelberg Mountain in Riebeek Kasteel. Every block was selected for the highest quality grapes which were perfectly ripened before picking.

Originating in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps, the Rhône river, the name being a derivative of the ancient word for ‘rolling’ thanks to its immense flow, travels for over 800km across South-Eastern France, through the region that is so revered for producing wines such as Crozes-Hermitage in the Northern Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape as well as Côtes du Rhône in the Southern Rhône, where the blends tend to be warmer, richer styled Grenache & Shiraz driven blends, which is the essence of the Thorngrove Rolling River.


Once hand-harvested and sorted to remove all the leaves, the grapes were held in a cold room for 5 days to bring the core temperatures down to around 3’c. Following this, the grapes were lightly crushed and de-stemmed into the fermenter where they were further held at cold temperature and under a carbon dioxide blanket for another 3 days, to improve colour and flavour extraction before inoculating with yeast and kicking off the primary or alcoholic fermentation. This was also temperature controlled to ensure lower temperatures were achieved. All of the grapes in this wine are co-fermented, which means unlike other blends which are usually made individually and then blended at the end, prior to bottling, Thorngrove blends ferment and mature together. We believe this delivers better integration and a more harmonious, rounded and luscious wine.

This was completed in around 8 days at which time we again sealed the fermenter and held the must on lees for an additional 4-5 days before using the old fashioned basket press to extract the juices and into the maturation stage on 33% new French Oak, a specially selected mix of toasted and untoasted oak that allows us to support the fruit with just the right balance that delivers a balanced wine with body and finesse.

The wine was matured at a stable temperature whilst the secondary, or malolactic fermentation continued and we carefully assessed it after 11 months of letting Mother Nature do her thing, with the wine flavours and aromas mingling with the Oak until we decided to bottle the wine after 12 months on the wood. This was done meticulously and carefully but with no filtration other than a very basic physical filter to keep out any naughty pips. No finings or stabilisation techniques were used prior to bottling and along with the practically zero filtration, we believe this allows the fullest flavours to shine through, just as Mother nature intended.


COLOUR: A sumptuous and glowing deep ruby. The wine is intensely coloured and the more usually lighter shade of ruby that can be expected from a Grenache driven blend gives way to something richer and darker thanks to the inclusion of our super lush Shiraz. But one can still find the classic garnet colours around the edge of the glass to be expected from a Rhône blend.

SMELL: This wine is very complex on the nose with great diversity, but the aromas are all bright and clean on the nose. Its dominated primarily by raspberries and strawberries since at Thorngrove we like the fruit to shine out, but then the subtle complexity of this wine comes into play with the herbaceous or savoury tones such as thyme making an appearance, along with some leather and tar as well. You may also pick up the lightest hints of mocha & coconut from the mix of French Oak we use, but together it all comes together with beauty and harmony.

TASTE: This wine tastes just like a beautifully made Rhône blend should, with the same flavours on the palate as on the nose. The berries continue to lead the performance, but the rich diversity that each variety brings to the final product delivers a complex wine with well-integrated oak, soft acidity, and a silky mouthfeel.

The wine is full-bodied, with medium-full silky fine tannins and acidity, which when combined with our fruit-forward style make this a soft and luscious wine but with enough grip to hold its own on your dining table as well as sit quietly in your cellar for the next 10 years – if you can wait that long.


Thorngrove Rolling River pairs well with the classic French dishes of the region, such as Beef Bourguignon and also Osso Bucco, Leg of lamb and all Game dishes, but will not overpower more delicate dishes such as grilled fish, duck or mushrooms.

Given the power and finesse of this wine, I think a pairing with beautiful, mid-weight cheeses, such as an aged Gouda, a Roquefort or a heartier soft cheese such as Cambozola or Pont L’Eveque will have you bringing out the rest of your stash.


Rolling River – Rhone Blend

ABV: 14.7%

RS: 3.3

TA: 5.7

VA: 0.5

pH: 3.32

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