The Empire Strikes Back – An all-STELLENBOSCH white blend of Verdelho from 2 different sites, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay and Chenin blanc.
Today I’m standing up to defend the EMPIRE – STELLENBOSCH. Silently, she’s been re-aligning her troops and now strikes back at the Swartland to establish herself yet again as a formidable force. The Empire Strikes Back – An all-STELLENBOSCH white blend of Verdelho from 2 different sites, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, and Chenin blanc. Just for the record – I am a huge fan of Swartland white blends. The image of South African wines has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the Swartland played a huge part in this. Their wines, especially the Rhône-style white blends are top notch. They are fun, young, energetic and unique and started to gain international fame. Stellenbosch, however (where I studied winemaking), is the original EMPIRE of South African wine. Like most of us, I like to support the underdog, and in the case of white blends, the Empire became exactly that. So I created a white blend based on similar varieties – a combination that could give some of the Swartland white blends a go. The empire is therefore now striking back at the Swartland. The label consists of two sections. On the left part of the label you will see a half star, which was the logo for the “Swartland Revolution”. And on the right – stripes that represent a traditional and conservative EMPIRE.
Vineyard: This is a blend from a selection of vineyards – Chenin blanc from the granite Firgrove hills, Chardonnay from the Helderberg’s deep rich soils, 2 blocks of Verdelho from the Helderberg foothills and Rousanne and Marsanne from the Blaauwklippen road.
Alcoholic Strenght: 13 % / vol
Acidity: 5.71 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/l
Free SO2: 35 ppm
Total SO2: 92 ppm
Volatile Acidity: 0.62 g/l