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A new release of an old time favourite. We proudly present the Laibach Pinotage 2013 “black label”. This wine is made from an organic farmed 2.7 ha bush vine vineyard block, nearly 15 years old. The Simonsberg slopes are home to some of the best Pinotage ever made in South Africa. Not only do we have absolutely perfect “terroir” for our South African indigenous grape, we also share our winemaking knowledge with each other. We at Laibach prefer to make a Pinotage with more of the classic Pinot Noir characteristics than most other wineries. We want to make red wines not black wines and for us drinkability and elegance is absolutely essential. Handpicked by a small group of dedicated staff the grapes arrived in small 500 kg bins. We do make careful sorting include a certain percentage of whole bunches to add freshness to the final product. Some cold soak before fermentation to add complexity and to enhance colour stability. The wine is fermented naturally in small 5 ton open top fermentation tanks with regular manual punch downs to extract colour, fruit and flavour. Total skin contact time will be 5–7 days. After malolactic fermentation in stainless the wine is racked and moved to 100% French oak barrels, made and aged specially in Burgundy. The wine spent 12 months in oak and usually has around 20% new oak in the final blend. The wine is bottled with a filtration. Lovely dark red colour. On the nose lots of fruits with herbs, spice and mulberry aromas evident. The palate is complex with beautiful balance between wood, acid and aromas. A wine that reminds you of a world Class Pinot Noir on steroids. An elegant monster with enough complexity to keep 6 – 10 years after harvest. Although this wine is already very accessible we would like you to resist the temptation and surely see a world class Pinotage develop.
The growing season before vintage 2013 was very good. Although the winter started quite late we had quite a bit more rain than in the previous years. We had a very cold and wet August which not only added to our underground water but also helped the plants to have a more even budding. The season was running a week or two late because of this but this seems too long forgotten after a very hot and dry December. For us a cold and very wet winter is ideal for a classic vintage. We do not use irrigation (might change a little in future) and therefore sufficient reserve s in our cool deep clay soils are not negotiable. We did get a little scare from mother nature with some cold and rainy weather in and around flowering but nothing that our very efficient vineyard team could not manage. This vintage was the first vintage when the whole of the farm was certified organic so 38 ha of vineyards had to get the best attention to detail you can imagine. Some unevenness in especially the Petit Verdot was the only real concern for us.
Which looked like a later harvest than usual eventually started like so many before in the first week of February. Chenin and Pinotage were again the earliest cultivars to be harvested and the quality was great. Lower alcohols and very good analysis for them was great and they showed lots of promise for something special for the future. We had a small mid February gap after the Organic Chardonnay was harvested but then it all happened quite quickly. Towards the end of February all the Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and even some young blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon started to ripen. These components usually end up in our fantastic and very popular Ladybird Red. Quality was above average and especially the selected rows of Merlot that we use for the Claypot Merlot was exceptional. The harvest for us was bigger and produced more balanced wines with lower acidities and softer tannins than in vintages 11 and 12. The wines are little higher in alcohols that we would have liked but we think the quality in general is very good and we are looking forward starting to blend the components and to bottle vintage 2013.