|Total Sulphites:||85 mg/L|
76% Syrah, 17% Mourvèdre, 7% Grenache
Vineyards: Swartland & Paardeberg Mountain Areas
Hand sorting of each individual berry for the entire production in small “strawberry” cases. Fermentation in 2000 litre open wooden fermenters. Fermentation of about three weeks at a temperature of 24 °C and then a post-fermentation maceration of another three weeks. Pressing takes place in an old basket press and the wine is transferred directly to the barrel for malolactic fermentation.
French oak barrels, Bordeaux Traditional selection (10% new). Tight grain. The ageing takes place for 12 months on the lees and then we rack and an additional year of ageing takes place in big oval casks (foudre) on the fine lees. Total time spent is two years prior to bottling.
The 2012 vintage came on the back of an amazing winter with heavy rainfalls and much of our reserves in terms of soil moisture were completely renewed. In our region with zero irrigation it is such an important factor and possibly has one of the biggest effects on the resultant wine. The growing season was not too extreme and even when the heat waves set in in early February there were still enough reserves of water in the sub-soil; and this allowed for a very even ripening. The acidity was retained throughout the ripening season and the grapes had enough time on the vines for the fruit to ripen properly. The tannins were perfectly ripe at harvesting time and all of this happened at lower alcohol levels.
The aromatics of the 2012 Columella appear to have a more continental Rhone nature. The ability of the vines to retain their fruit in 2012 was extremely unique and the very intense aromatic grapes retained their expression right through the fermentation and the aging of the wine up to the point of bottling.
This 2012 vintage will be perfectly approachable now till about 2017 and then the wine might lock down in character; and the suggestion will be to then age it and it will come around again and just blossom from 2028 onwards. It is a character tendency that we have noticed in vintages like 2002 and 2004 in the past.