WE HAVE TASTED THE HARVEST OF 2021 AND 2022.
AND IT IS GLORIOUS
Wonderful Wine People!,
I am so happy and excited to write you. Today is the first time since I returned from our vineyards and cellar that I have sat down with my laptop. We have spent the past few weeks in the vineyards, in the cellar and on the road, tasting, blending and preparing our wines. The progression of the wines demanded our attention, and we could not be more proud and delighted with our service to them.
PURCHASE THE FUTURE
I am writing now with a brief and breathless report of what we have done and an offer to you to purchase wines and thereby fund our work right now. Above is a link to the wines; more on the nature of this purchase below. First, the report.
THE END OF ONE ERA AND THE START OF THE NEXT
Many of you have asked about the state of our vineyards. Let me tell you a couple of things— some of them are mysterious to me, but I will tell you anyway.
The vineyard where we harvested our Reserve Cabernet has been held in the same family for four generation. It is in a ‘Grand Cru class’ region with farms owned by some of the grand estates of the world. The family decided to sell the farm and winery to a large conglomerate who took the farm name and added the word “Family” to it (strange, as the “Family” just sold the farm) and proceeded to move the entire operation to another town while planning to build a housing development on the site of the vineyards.
We have the last of these very special wines still available here. It is a joyous wine, full of fruit and approachable now but will age with greatness. We just opened a bottle of the 2017 and it is also aging with grace – still lively but with signs of softness. We also offer a select few library vintages (especially of our whites).
One of the wonderful results of our recent trips is that we have been secure in our new vineyards for both the 2021 and 2022 harvest with spectacular results. Our wines start in the best vineyards through our relationships with multigenerational farmers and we have secured fruit for a co-fermentation wine from two farms in the same immediate area, one directly next door to our previous ‘reserve’ Cabernet vineyard and fruit for an upcoming bottling from two of the best vineyards in Stellenbosch and the West Coast. We had broad smiles, almost tears, of joy (and relief) when we tasted these young wines. These wines are well taken care of and will be released soon, but not before they are ready.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVOLUTION IS COMING
The wines we have made so far come from vineyards in the noble and historic Coastal Region. At the moment, this is our focus, the object of our unvarying devotion. The only exception is the unparalled jewel of the Elim ward, near the lighthouse at the wild and stormy confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, where harvest is up to a month later.
I hope that I have given you somesense what is happening down here. South Africa might not have previously played a very important role in your galaxy of wine regions but the vineyards here are old, some in cultivation since 1783 when Bordeaux was still a swamp. There are Americans moving to make wine here, likeZelma Long (originally from Opus One),
Andrea Mullineux at MLF wines, Samantha O’Keefe at Lismore, Ginny Poval, Mary-Lou Nash, and on and on. This year, writers from the UK and the US have made pilgrimages and our friends and colleagues from the South African winelands held large tastings in the Northeast and Texas. There is important work to do down here, and the wave is not yet crested.
THE NEW WINERY SPACE
I would also love for you to grasp this: Earlier this year, there was an empty space in an old captivating winery on a historic farm, owned by descendants of Lord Milner (who led British forces around the world and also founded Yair’s high school). Within days, our barrels of American oak arrived from Nadalie, our French cooperage, and only a few days later we harvested from a vineyard on the Joubert and the Mitres Edge farms and brought it to the winery. We mixed the grapes and juice by hand and pressed in a wooden traditional basket press. The wine soon began fermenting naturally in its new home and is now in barrel, and it is stunning. Now let me say a little about this purchase:
This is the third year that we have written to you at this time, and it is the key to what we do. Purchasing these wines from us now and for the Holidays makes everything the rest of the year possible. If just a small number of you purchase and pay for the wine now, it allows us to pay our growers promptly for the precious fruit, and to cover some of the other expenses of harvest— the most cash-intensive period of the year.
We have narrowed down to seven wines this year, a perfect spread for all moods. I will describe them in much more detail in the end of the annual reporting/award season, but for now you should know the following:All of them are precious, and it is hard for us to choose a favorite.
Remaining quantities of the legendary Constance and the award winning 2019 Sui Generis Syrah are very limited (due to the pandemic and weather, the next Syrah will be the 2022 vintage). As I wrote, this will also be the last of the current iteration of the Cabernet Reserve – much loved by many of you – to be replaced by the new Cabernet co-ferment in the future.
For the first time, we are also offering a 6-bottle Masterclass selection as a pack which was originally sent to a South African wine Masterclass that was held over the summer by a WSET educator using our wines for their excellent representation of South African terroir.
You may go here to buy the wines right now, and your purchase will propel us to the end of a triumphant and wonderful next harvest.
And just to remind you how this will work: The wines are all already stateside and have settled in a temperature controlled store. We shipped them to the US using insulated containers to protect the wines in transit. The wines should arrive at your doorstep within about 3 days (usually not more than 5 days).
Thanks so much for reading so far, and thanks so much, as always, for your support and attention. I can't wait for the reporting/award season to reach completion and to offer you a full report about this remarkable set of wines.
Lynne and Yair