Vineyards: Two selected vineyards, one located on the footslopes of the prestigious Helderberg Mountain and the other on the heights of Devon Valley. The Helderberg vineyard faces the ocean in a northwestern orientation while the Devon Valley vineyard faces west on the coastal side of Stellenbosch. Both vineyards benefit from cooling maritime breezes.
Vinification: Following a long, hot ripening season, picking occurred later than most in the area, holding on for full ripeness of the pips, rather than just sugar ripeness. The bunches were relatively small, with thick skins.
Pre-fermentation cold soak for 3 days, followed by fermentation in tank. Cap-punching three times a day and pump-overs twice. One third underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel, and the rest in tank, to retain fruit and suppleness. These proportions were matured respectively for 11 months, with periodic micro-oxygenation and without sulphur additions.
Of the barrel proportions, 80% was small French oak, 20% American; a third new, the rest split between 2nd & 3rd fill. The wines were assembled after almost one year, then egg-white fined. The wine settled naturally for a further two months, with no filtration until bottling.
Tasting Comments: The deep, shiny cherry hue and rich spicy nose combine to entice you before the wine even hits your tongue. Flavor, structure, fruit, promise and restraint. Intelligent oaking compliments rather than dominates the wine, allowing it to reflect its origin's natural flavors. Pencil lead, blueberry and mocha mingle seamlessly, bridging the lapse between sips. Good wine. Great value.