The tropical fruit of Chenin Blanc is complemented nicely by the citrus character of Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon providing structure and complexity. The wine is still young and will benefit from further cellaring.
39% Chenin Blanc
30% Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaker Ian Naudé explains the 2010…
CLIMATE / SEASON
After the incredible harvest that was in 2009, the 2010 vintage was a different animal altogether. The conditions from Spring until harvest were unseasonal and unexpected, making life very difficult. Strong winds added to this, and with uneven ripeness a concern, it wasn’t easy to work out the ideal picking date. Having said that, with yields down and by paying careful attention at harvest, we were able to turn a difficult year into a decent one.
WINEMAKING & VINIFICATION
When I started making the white blend, I wanted to make it in a true South African style, unlike any other worldwide. We’ve been forced to copy wine styles from other countries for so long, so this is something entirely different; a unique blend of terroirs rather than just a blend of varietals. The blend will always stay the same; it will always be Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The 2010 vintage was less expressive than 2009, and, therefore, the three components were used in more equal parts than in any of the previous vintages. The wine shows tropical fruit intensity from Chenin Blanc and ends in a lingering citrus finish, contributed by the Sauvignon Blanc, while the Semillon provides structure to complete the blend.
Ripening and picking differ year on year. I ferment each vineyard on its own (always naturally) then leave it on the lees as long as possible. Part of the Chenin Blanc and Semillon gets fermented in French Oak Barrels to give it depth through the middle palate. No additional chemicals (apart from sulphur at bottling) are added, trying to keep them as natural as possible to allow them to age. I try to leave all my wines as long as possible on the lees because I believe that is where the personality of the vineyard shows. After a couple of months, my work starts – the blending. I take away any name of the vineyard or cultivar that can influence me, and I start blending to showcase the vintage, what I picked up in the vineyards. That is why the percentages of the cultivars change from vintage to vintage. I make this wine to show the diversity of cultivars and terroirs in one bottle that only the Western Cape can produce.
Due to minimal interference and no additions (apart from minimal sulphites upon bottling). Now over 8 years in bottle, it is currently drinking beautifully, but it still a baby. There is remarkable freshness and acidity, along with the sort of body that makes this a friend of so many different dishes. The wine will continue to develop.