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Tim Atkin is a UK-based Master of Wine (MW) and wine journalist with an international following.+
VINIFICATION | The grapes are picked across a great many vineyards and taken into our cold room on arrival at the cellar.The next day the grapes are sorted and the whole bunches go into the press.The pressing lasts 2 – 3 hours and in that period a margin of settling of the juice takes place in the collecting tank.The turbid juice is then transferred to concrete eggs of 725 litres and 400 – 1200 litre clay amphoras for the next stage of natural fermentation.
The fermentation temperatures in the clay amphorae and the concrete eggs are very constant and we only control the ambient temperature at around 18 degrees throughout the season. Each wine basically ferments in its own time – in some cases it may take up to 18 months – and every vineyard is fermented in the same vessel every year.
AGEING | The Palladius matures in these vessels for 12 months and is then racked off into big old foudres for an additional 12 months ageing prior to bottling.After two years the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
NOTES | Over the past 5 years Palladius has been the wine that grew the most in quality and refinement and much of this has to do with the addition of more vineyards and the improvement of their viticulture. Currently of all our wines, the Palladius, with 17 vineyards, obviously represents the biggest canvas of the Swartland.
Throughout the picking of this 2019 it was amazing how well all of the 17 pieces of the puzzle that make up this wine just perfectly fell into place and so effortlessly.
The vineyards just ripened in perfect order and in perfect ratio to another.The 2019 Palladius arguably displays the most complex of aromas: not only is the wine very fresh, bright green-edge apple fruit but then goes into stone fruit and exit with the tropical aromatics.The advantage is that across the spectrum we managed to capture a greater acidity than 2018 but with more volume and texture.
The mouthfeel and equilibtrium of this vintage are unmatched in any of our other whites. In many vintages the Mev. Kirsten poses the same depth and volume but in this vintage Palladius surpasses all others.The composure of this wine is the absolute singular aspect and it will benefit much from proper ageing.
Paardeberg (14 vineyards) , Piketberg (1 vineyard), St Helena Bay (2 vineyards)
Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Verdelho, Roussanne, Marsanne, Semillon Gris, Semillon Blanc & Palomino, Colombard
12 months amphora & concrete, 12 months old foudre
Decomposed Granite, Decomposed Table Mountain Sandstone formations & Chalk Soils
Yield: 25 hl/ha
Alcohol: 13,5 %
Residual Sugar: 1,7 g/L
Total Acidity: 6 g/L
Total Sulphur: 72 mg/L