DHK Wine | Building Blocks
Made by architects Derick Henstra and and Peter Fehrsen of DHK, Black Block Pinot Noir 2013 was released in 2015. Derick and Peter have been working together for nearly 20 years, and share a lifelong interest in wine. They’ve also been partners in Wine Concepts, a fine wine retail store since 1998, so the desire to make their own wine was a natural step to take. Having always had an aspiration to make wine, what started as a hobby soon became much more, as Derick says, ‘We don’t do things by half measures.’ The pair decided to make Pinot Noir as they find it the most intriguing cultivar, amazingly evocative and versatile. Says Derick ‘I’ve had a love affair with Pinot Noir for more than 10 years, it’s incredibly elegant and balanced, and its versatility means it can be enjoyed with just about anything.’
Described as a robust but elegant Pinot Noir, rich in dark cherry fruit and almonds on the palate, Black Block Pinot Noir 2013 is an ideal wine to accompany food. Peter’s food pairing recommendations range from lamb cutlets to roast duck breast, showing the wine’s versatility. It’s also very suitable to quaffing, although he insists that it’s served slightly chilled to enhance its fresh fruit. The grapes are sourced from a single block of a high-lying mountain vineyard in the Tulbagh district. The cool mountain breeze ensures there are minimal pests, and rodents are controlled naturally with birds of prey. Black Block Pinot Noir is made in a beautiful old cellar at the 300 year old Nabygelegen winery in the Wellington district, owned by James Mackenzie and made by Derick and Peter, under James’ mentorship. They say their second vintage has become much more mature and elegant wine, with far better structure. Black Block’s label receives a lot of attention, and is unusually simple in its design for a wine label – inspired by the pair’s architectural sensibilities and eye for lines and style.
‘Winemaking is so dynamic, every vintage is different, each season brings its own climate and you never know how the grapes react – you’re forever guessing!’ says Peter. For Derick and Peter the launch of Black Block Pinot Noir is the realisation of a lifelong dream and a hobby that’s turned into something lasting.
You can now buy via Wine Concepts in Cape Town, Wine Menu in Joburg, For The Love of Wine in PE, and Publik online nationally. It’s also stocked at several bars in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Text and photographs: Supplied