4 ½ Stars 2021 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Long track record for exceptional quality & value, styled to drink on release & age gracefully. 18 (94 pts)’s crimson hue draws you in to rich yet elegant cassis, cigarbox & cedar aromas & flavours. 40% new oak, 18 months, adds black olive, nutmeg & allspice savouriness with precision also noted in standout 17 ***** (95 pts).
Most of the fruit for this wine was sourced from our own vineyards with a few selected parcels from other Stellenbosch vineyards. 2018 was yet again a very dry season and a relatively warm winter. This led to a rather uneven bud break and the vineyard team had to pay very careful attention to practices to help ensure as even ripening as possible. However, some cool weather late in the season helped us achieve good physiological ripeness without excessive sugar levels. Owing to the small crop and berry size careful attention was paid in the winery to not over extract the wines as well as careful blending to ensure we maintain consistency of quality style from a challenging vintage.
The various blocks were harvested at optimum ripeness and vinified separately. After careful selection in the vineyard the grapes were hand sorted
at the winery ensuring only the best fruit was vinified. After de-stemming, the grapes were fermented in a combination of stainless-steel tanks and traditional open-top fermenters. We used a combination of “punch down” and “pump over” at different stages during fermentation for the best possible extraction and to get balance between flavour and tannin levels. Special care was taken not to over extract the wine and maintain density without compromising elegance. After primary fermentation the grapes were gently pressed and transferred to French oak barrels (40% new, 30% second-fill and 30 % third-fill) for 18 months before final blending took place.
Initially showing quite a robust nose with lots of ripe dark berry fruits giving way to notes of cedar wood and spice. A dense palate which is packed with ripe fruit give one idea to expect a burley heavy wine, however, the fine grained tannins and lively acidity ensure a very elegant palate that dances for a long lingering finish.