Vineyards: Paardeberg (2 vineyards), Kasteelberg (4 vineyards), Malmesbury (1vineyard), Piquetberg (1 vineyard).
Grapes: Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsaut & Tinta Barocca
Soils: (Various) Granite, Slate, Gravel & Sandstone formations.
Hand sorting of individual berries of the entire production in small “strawberry” cases. Fermentation takes place spontaneously in 3300 litre open concrete fermenters for about three weeks at a temperature of 24 °C and is then followed by a post-fermentation maceration of another three weeks. No additions are made to the fermenting wine. Pressing takes place in a traditional basket press and the wine is transferred to the barrel (5% new) for malolactic fermentation.
The wine spends 12 months on the lees in tight-grain French oak barrels, just 5% of them new. The wine is then racked into big oval casks (foudres) for an additional year of maturation on the fine lees. After a total of two years the wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
Residual Sugar 1.6 g/Litre
Total Acidity 5.4 g/Litre
Total Sulphites 87 mg/Litre
This 2016 Columella has a much deeper colour and concentration and is still very compact and in need of obvious ageing, but it is already showing great complexity in that the aromatics are not a singular line, but the coming together of many aspects. The aromas are a combination of bright fresh red fruits which then pass over to the riper black stone fruit. The wine is also very earthy and seems to live on a bed of freshly ploughed earth – and then there is the appearance of much darker graphite aromatics as well.
The reality is that with our refinement in vinification, especially after 2010, our wines are made in more reductive style and they may appear more austere in their youth, but allow this wine time to age, or space to breathe, and one will find incredible layers of complexity that at times were maybe more monolithic in the earlier vintages. To wait on a wine is the most normal thing…………….
A yield of 18 – 24hl/ ha was recorded for 2016.