Vineyard: Skurfberg Mountains in the Olifants River Region
Grape: 100% Chenin Blanc (Local synonym: Steen)
Soils: Decomposed Table Mountain sandstone
Ageing Potential: 5 – 15 years
Average Yield: 18 – 22 hl/ha
This wine blends Chenin Blanc from old bush vine parcels on three farms on the slopes of the Skurfberg (“rugged mountains”) between Clanwilliam and Lamberts Bay in the Olifants River Region.
They are immaculately farmed properties, which have not been subjected to herbicide or chemical fertilisers by the current farmers.
Most of the soils in the area are of decomposed sandstone, and very sandy. Rainfall is low – these vines have had to be tough to survive without irrigation.
Together the three low-yielding parcels represent the possibilities of the area, each offering something unique to the complexity of the whole. The one site has huge and aromatic fruit concentration; the second offers an earthy character and minerality, and the third (the highest, and closest to the Atlantic) retains amazing acidity and freshness.
The three parcels of fruit were vinified separately. They were basket-pressed and then transferred directly to old casks where natural fermentation took place. We blended them after 12 months, and then left them to age another six months before bottling them directly from the old casks.
Unfined and unfiltered – decanting recommended.
eParker: 93 Points
Neal Martin – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2013 Old Vine Series Skurfberg (100% Chenin Blanc) has a beautifully defined bouquet with scents of pressed yellow flowers and lanolin. The palate is very tense with deceiving weight in the mouth, almost distant at first but then those gorgeous honeycomb and citrus peel flavors crash upon the shore. Sublime.”