Waterkloof Circle of Life Red 2020

Tasting Notes

Winery: Waterkloof
Varietal: Red Blend
SKU: WATCIRRED2020 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Waterkloof Circle of Life Red 2020



4 ½ Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide

Tasted ex barrel & provisionally rated, 20 (92 pts) intrigues with spice & wild herbs, underpinned by soft, dark berries & freshening fine tannins. Blended to reflect farm’s terroir: syrah, cab franc, merlot & petit Verdot. Small/larger oak 10% new, 17 months.

91 pts Tim Akin MW 2022

Based on Cabernet Franc – something of a favoured red grape at Waterkloof – this cuvée also features 62% Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Old wood-aged, with smooth, palate-coating tannins, notes of red plum, graphite and strawberry and a hint of aromatic vanilla spice.

Winemaker Notes

Circle of Life celebrates farming in harmony with nature, telling a story of preserving and regenerating biodiversity, which we feel helps grow healthier and more characterful grapes.

In 2008 Waterkloof became one of The Western Cape Wineland’s first WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Conservation Champions. Half of the property is now dedicated to preserving the diverse, indigenous but threatened plant-life that make up one of Earth’s five major Floristic Regions. Of course, it is not only the flora that we help preserve and regenerate on Waterkloof, but also the inextricably connected fauna that play their part in any thriving eco-system, alongside our vines, the soil in which they stand and let’s not forget ourselves, the custodians who farm this land.

Since receiving WWF Conservation Champion status, five of our neighbours have followed suit, benefitting this winegrowing hillside still further. The Schapenberg is now the ideal canvas of vineyards upon which to craft this intricately woven tapestry of a blend we call Circle of Life.

We harvest according to taste and find it essential to spend a lot of time in the vineyards to see how the flavours develop. All grapes were hand-picked into small picking crates, sorted in the vineyards and brought to the cellar by our horses. To ensure that only the best berries are used, we sorted all grapes by hand in the winery as well. These were then placed into our wooden fermenters via our gravity system. The Rhône varietals were whole-bunch fermented and the Bordeaux varietals were de-stemmed. The fermentation started naturally with yeast present on the grapes to enhance the flavours prevailing in the vineyards. We also don’t add any sulphur at this point. Just pure grapes in our wooden fermenters.

Throughout the fermentation process, we did soft punch downs twice a day to gently and slowly extract the tannins. The wines spent around 30 days on the skins, during which time the tannins were able to soften. This duration is dependent on taste.

After the maceration time on the skins, we ran the wine down via gravity – still no pumping. The grape skins also fell through into the basket press and were softly pressed to gently extract the last bit of wine, aroma and colour from the skins.

The varietals were aged separately in French oak. 600L Barrels for the Rhône varietal and 225L barrels for the Bordeaux varietals. Only 10 % were new barrels, to avoid dominance of wood aromatics in our wines.

After 12 months in barrel, we blended the Cabernet Franc (30%), Merlot (22%), Syrah (36%) and Petit Verdot (12%) together and kept it for another 5 months in our wooden fermenters. This wine is unfined and gently filtered.

32 000 bottles produced

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