Some Semillon greenness on the nose and strong, pure Semillon lanolin character. Both ripe and chewy. Very youthful. I’m convinced that this absolutely classic expression of Sémillon has a bright future as well as providing rewarding drinking now. 17.5+ Jancis Robinson jancisrobinson.com
The nose is delicate and elegant with its grapefruit, greengage, chamomile and apple blossom aromas and whiffs of exotic spice. The floral character of the nose follows through onto a richly textured mid-palate, showing yellow peach, poached pear and nectarine against a backdrop of fresh mandarin and green fig flavours with integrated acidity and a full body. The ripe stone fruit character adds to the complexity on the palate and the spicy finish with hints of fenugreek, black cardamom and Cape fynbos complements a very balanced wine.
The Boekenhoutskloof Semillon has been predominantly sourced from one of the oldest vineyards in South Africa, planted in 1902 on alluvial soils with a high loam content. Grapes are further sourced from two other low yielding parcels also grown within the Franschhoek Valley and planted in 1936 and 1942 on original rootstock and traditional bush vines. Due to even smaller yields than before and very dry growing conditions, 2016 delivered small-clustered, healthy fruit – ideal for creating rich wines with concentration and structure.
Winemaking Philosophy (Vinification & Winemaker’s Comments)
The deep root system and high skin to pulp ratio of these old vineyards produce intensely complex, well-structured wines with an unbelievable ageing potential. It is important for us to respect the character of these unique sites and we follow a similar philosophy in the cellar. The grapes are whole bunch pressed and spontaneous fermentation takes place in classic barrique and concrete eggs. We mature our Semillon for 14 months at low temperatures without adding sulphur to ensure that we inhibit any malolactic activity. This oxidative approach at low temperatures enables us to enhance the textural elements of our old vine Semillon, creating structure in a wine that can certainly stand the test of time. The riper 2016 vintage year is reflected in the rich texture which we expect to eventually evolve into classic secondary notes of lanolin, lemon curd and beeswax.