We change the label every year to best suit the feeling I think the wine is giving. The photo on the label was taken by our friend Florian Kleinerts 12-year-old daughter. It is an amazing photo, simple yet powerful and we thought particularly relevant to the year 2020, where everybody could benefit from taking the time to reading a few more books. The analogy between taking the time to read books and process things slower we feel fits well with the Cortez wine, where very often you need to take step back and take time to process the flavours.
NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA
NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig & Carla Hawkins
CELLAR LOCATION: Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland
TERROIR: Decomposed Granite, North facing, 200m above sea level, from the Paardeberg.
Planted in 1972, dryland bush vine (un-trellised), farmed organically. The vineyard is a special one as it has been farmed organically since 2001 and every year, good or bad, gives a tension we sometimes don’t find in our other wines (as much). This I think is due to the high percentage of quartz/silica in the soil. 2020 Vintage was a good one for us as we had another relatively wet winter which led to a tricky start to the growing season with regards to disease pressure, once that was overcome the resulting grapes were healthy and of a good yield and balance.
GRAPE: 100% Chenin Blanc
Hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. Fermented/Aged in 4 x 500L old French Foudre and a single 1500L stainless steel tank for 6 months then blended together and placed back into wood and stainless steel. No yeast (or other) inoculation or additives apart from a small amount of SO2 shortly before bottling. 100% malolactic fermentation. A clarifying filtration was done, not fined.