2017 was a dry vintage in Stellenbosch with concentrated flavors. This is a lovely, elegant red with ripe, red fruits and an easy-going texture. It's not a light wine although all too easy to drink. Best with good food but fine for a party. The wine comes from old vineyards, mostly fermented with its natural (not commercial) yeast and aged in French oak. It’s medium to full bodied, easy, fruity and supple enough to drink quite young but will improve with age.
The Geeky Details:
The grapes for the 2017 vintage come from a single 200-year-old farm in the Bottelary ward of Stellenbosch. Vineyards in the Bottelary ward are the closest vineyards to Cape Town and are almost equidistant to the cool winds of the Atlantic Ocean to the West and False Bay to the South. The vines are 28 years old, trained to 5 wire trellising, pruned to cordon with spurs and planted in North West facing vineyards with Oakleaf, granite and Kroonstad soils. Overhead drip irrigation was used to compensate for the dry summer but yields strenuously restricted to 8 ton/ha. Fermentation was started with the grapes' natural yeast from 24 balling down to 10 balling and then inoculated with cultured yeast to ensure 100% fermentation and to keep the wine healthy. 12 months of wood aging in French oak from Alliers and Nevers ensued using older wood (2nd to 5th fill barrels) so as not to overwhelm the wine. In keeping with the natural approach, the wine is not fined and only filtered through a sheet filter into the bottle. The winemaker's philosophy is to guide the process, rather than forcing it and therefore, the handling is minimal, to ensure that the natural characteristics of the wine shine through. The final result is a true style of Cabernet Sauvignon with red berries and black berry, together with more structured tannins and a balanced elegant wood finish.
Technical details: ALC - 13.54% Vol; PH - 3.59; RS - 1.5 g/l; TA - 6.5 g/l.
Finger Lakes International Wine Competition 2019 - Bronze