SOUTH AFRICA | WESTERN CAPE
AVERAGE TEMP: 19.1°C
RAINFALL: 324mm per annum HARVESTING BEGAN: 18/01/2016 HARVESTING ENDED: 01/02/2016 ORIGIN OF FRUIT: Citrusdal Mountains SOIL TYPE: sand/loam
YIELD: 2.8 ton/ha
Basie van Lill of Arbeidsend and Jozua Visser of Oudam have owned and worked these vineyards for decades. e vines share space with fynbos and Rooibos tea bushes while sheep also graze the land. Planted in 1964, the vines are on either red sand or clay on the Skurfberge, surrounded by fynbos. e area’s height above sea level, naturally low rainfall and treasury of old vines that don’t have the benefit of irrigation, results in intense and balanced wines. The hot days are tempered by refreshing cool nights due to the land’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean (Lamberts Bay). All of these factors, along with the age and balance of these bush vines, contribute to ripeness, intense fruit and wines with a high natural acidity.
Warmer, drier conditions than usual were experienced between March and November with below average rainfall. e 2016 yield was drastically affected by the drought conditions, reducing the crop by almost 50%. These old vines again produced wines of great flavour, balance and concentration, despite slightly lower acid levels due to the warmer conditions.
The grapes were transported to the cellar in refrigerated trucks and cooled overnight to below 14°C. Bunches were hand-sorted and whole-bunch pressed the following day and the juice settled overnight. 22% of the wine was fermented and matured in 300l new French oak barrels, and the balance remained in stainless steel tanks. The wine spent 7 months on the lees before being blended and bottled in early October.
Hints of delicate peach blossom aromatics are underpinned by a creamy toast note. e palate is rich and broad with an array of tropical fruits – stonefruit, melon, peach and apricot. Fresh, crisp and lively with some citrus too. Providing support is a well integrated toasty oak frame that isn’t overplayed or dominant. Nuanced, long and elegant with a lingering tail and prolonged finish.