Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Lively and herbaceous with crisp layers of fruit. Intense palate with tropical and green elements. A serious wine with a long future. Will reward careful cellaring for the next 5 years.
The grapes were selected from vineyards in Stellenbosch (False Bay), Durbanville and Darling. The 2017 vintage surprised us all after a very dry winter and growing season. The days were moderate with cool evenings, perfect for Sauvignon Blanc. The canopies were opened up early December to ensure enough sunlight in the bunch zone.
After the hat-trick of dry winter seasons (2015-2017) unfortunately 2018 proved to be not much different but was better than the 3 preceding seasons. This carried over into our growing season and meant that we had a very small crop, albeit of pleasing quality. The winter proved to be warm and rather inconsistent. The inconsistent weather was present throughout the growing season and even into the harvest period. The dry and warm conditions were alleviated to some extent by some healthy late spring rains, however, this did lead to increased disease pressure during this period and meant the viticulture team really had to be careful in their management of our vineyards to ensure healthy grapes to the winery. Having achieved this we saw some really good natural acidities and great balance in our wines. The reds came in later than normal, largely owing to relatively cool conditions in the later half of the season. This coupled with a significant rain event mid-March meant that we achieved physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels than normal and have produced, what we believe to be, some of the most elegant and balanced red wines in recent memory. Our Cabernets in particular show both density and vibrancy that has us very excited about their future. Another challenging season for the team that has, however, delivered some extremely exciting wines that will be a joy to drink over many years to come.
The grapes were handpicked early in the morning and in some cases even during the night. We handle Sauvignon Blanc very reductively from the start with dry ice in the vineyard through to the fermentation vessel. The grapes were crushed as soon as it arrived (before 10am) with a CO2 blanket and given at least 12 hours skin contact. This was to extract all the beautiful flavours nestled in the skins. The juice was racked from the skins with gravity and settled for 24 hours. The clean juice was racked to the fermentation vessel where we inoculate with selected yeast strains and ferment very slow at 13 degrees Celsius. The wine spent 7 months on primary lees before being bottled with only a very coarse filtration.
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