Joostenberg Family Red Blend 2015
Blend: 91% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 4% Viognier
Winemaking is not about systems and recipes. Not if you want to make distinctive wines. Everything done at Joostenberg's winery (and vineyards) is aimed at ensuring that their wines are both delicious and true to their origin.
Since great wines begin with great grapes, Joostenberg's aim is to grow the best possible grapes in as "natural" a way as possible – hence organics, dry-farming, etc. They simply then guide the wines through the winemaking process without the interference of unnecessary additives or modifications. Some call this "minimalist winemaking".
Flanked by majestic mountains on either side, the Paarl district is a valley whose most valuable water source is the Berg River. While sometimes during dry and hot summers, the vineyards in the valley need supplemental irrigation, those vineyards on the eastern slopes where water retention is better, aren't irrigated.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.