Composition: 39% Chenin Blanc | 31% Semillon | 30% Sauvignon Blanc
Wine of Origin: Western Cape
After the incredible harvest that was 2009, the 2010 vintage was a different animal altogether. The conditions from Spring until harvest were unseasonal and unexpected, making life very difficult. Strong winds added to this, and with uneven ripeness a concern, it wasn’t easy to work out the ideal picking date. Having said that, with yields down and by paying careful attention at harvest, we were able to turn a difficult year into a decent one.
When I started making the white blend I wanted to make it in a true South African style, unlike any other available world wide. We’ve been forced for so long to copy wine styles from other countries, so this is something entirely different; a unique blend of terroirs rather than just a blend of varietals. The blend will always stay the same, it will always be Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The 2010 vintage was less expressive than 2009, and therefore the three components were used in more equal parts than in any of the previous vintages. The wine shows tropical fruit intensity from Chenin Blanc and ends in a lingering citrus finish, contributed by the Sauvignon Blanc, while the Semillon provides structure to complete the blend. Ripening and picking differs year on year. I ferment each vineyard on its own (always naturally) then leave it on the lees as long as possible. Part of the Chenin Blanc and Semillon gets fermented in French Oak Barrels to give it depth through the middle palate. Nothing is added, no additional chemicals (apart from sulphur at bottling) trying to keep them as natural as possible to allow them to age. I try to leave all my wines as long as possible on the lees because I believe that is where the personality of the vineyard shows. After a couple of months, my work starts – the blending. I take away any name of the vineyard or cultivar that can influence me and I start blending to showcase the vintage, what I picked up in the vineyards. That is why the percentages of the cultivars changes from vintage to vintage. I make this wine to show the diversity of cultivars and terroirs in one bottle that only the Western Cape can produce.
Alc 12% | RS 4.8 | TA 5.7 | pH 3.70
Due to minimal interference and no additions (apart from minimal sulphites upon bottling), this wine has been created in order to age. Now 8 years in bottle, it is currently drinking beautifully, but it still a baby. There is remarkable freshness and acidity, along with the sort of body that makes this a friend of so many different dishes. The wine will continue to develop in the cellar, and all the signs suggest that it will still be in great shape by 2030.
John Platter 4 stars