Journey’s End: A Bit About The Brand
Based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Journey’s End was founded in 1995 by the Gabb family (who were actually originally from Shropshire, UK). The company are very much focused on producing great quality wine that is hand-crafted with a premium feel. They also believe in having a ‘hands-off’ approach to their wines. What does that mean exactly? Well, it basically means that they believe in keeping the wine true to the terroir (the environmental conditions that the grapes grow in). Not only are Journey’s End committed to making quality wine, but they’re also committed to conservation, sustainability and biodiversity. The winery has even received recognition for its environmental commitments and was awarded WWF Conservation Champion status, which is something that only 45 South African wineries have attained.
As well as this, they were also awarded the Ethical Company of the Year award at The Drinks Business Green Awards in 2020. This was as recognition for their continued sustainability initiatives and their contribution to their local community through the Journey’s End Foundation initiative. If there was ever a company to make you feel amazing about drinking their wine it’s Journey’s End!
Kendal Lodge by Journey’s End
So…onto the wine itself. I tested out Kendal Lodge which, as I’ve mentioned already, is a mix of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The exact ratio is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Aged in French oak barrels, Kendal Lodge is described by Journey’s End as being fine in texture with a blackberry and roasted herb scent. The three key words that they use to describe the style of it are:
OAKED | RICH | SAVOURY
From the scent alone I could definitely get the oak that they were promising. As for the ‘rich’ and ‘savoury’ descriptors, it was down to the taste to see if they’d ring true.
Tasting Kendal Lodge: My Thoughts
It’s time for the taste test. Did it stack up? The short answer…absolutely. It’s full-bodied and packed with flavours of blackberry and herbs which give it an overall richness. As well as the blackberry and herb flavours there was also a lovely roasted coffee taste in there too. Overall I found that the wine was super smooth and savoury, nothing too heavy about it at all, but then right at the end there was a kick of spice. This definitely worked for me. Journey’s End recommend pairing Kendal Lodge with roasted lamb or beef but I actually ended up drinking mine alongside a homemade lamb curry. The spice kick from the curry was really set off when it was paired with Kendal Lodge. It was an absolute spice sensation in the best way.
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Where can you pick up a bottle of Kendal Lodge?
Since Kendal Lodge was actually made specially for Marks & Spencer you can easily pick up a bottle from M&S both in store and online. It’s also available online at Ocado. At £8 a bottle it’s such a great value wine that I think would suit most red wine drinkers’ tastes.
Are you familiar with Journey’s End? Have you tried their Kendal Lodge 2018 wine before? Let me know if you think it might be up your street in the comments.
For more Wine Wednesday reviews head on over to my review of Dark Horse’s Merlot.