Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2021
Elegant and complex. Limey fruit with perfect oak balance and a mineral finish on the palate. Drink now or cellar for 10 years to taste its real potential.
The grapes came from 3 blocks in Stellenbosch and a single block in Robertson. All the Stellenbosch blocks are dryland whilst Robertson only received one small drip irrigation. Careful canopy management was needed to ensure enough growth to ripen bunches. The canopy was tipped early in the season to initiate side shoot growth to protect the bunches against sun burn. The grape were handpicked early in the morning.
Excellent winter rains and late rains into spring ensured good moisture content in the soil with the onset of the growing season. The prolonged cool spring weather meant that bud burst was about two weeks later than normal and slightly uneven. The subsequent moderate to cool weather during flowering and berry set continued into the rest of the growing season. The much cooler than normal growing season meant that we started harvest two weeks later than normal. The cool weather also persisted through the harvest period leading to not only exceptional acidity in the grapes and wine but the best acid balance ever seen in our grapes and wine. The harvest was briefly interrupted by a fairly large rain event, of nearly 60mm, early in March. This was initially a cause for some concern. However, moderate and dry weather following the rain actually ensured a long healthy ripening for our grapes and the late ripening varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, reached physiological ripeness at lower sugar levels than normal. All in all, the vintage resulted in wines that have amazing balance and finesse and what they may not have in power they will make up with great purity and elegance.
The grapes were harvested between 22 - 24° balling and after crushing the juice was given extended skin contact for at least 12 hours before it was pressed. Only the free run portion of the juice was used for this selection. After 1 day of settling the juice was racked to a fermentation vessel where we inoculate with a slow fermenting yeast strain. The juice was racked into barrel 1 day after inoculation and left to ferment at low temperature until dry. The wine spent a total of 8 months in barrel before blending and bottling. A combination of 60% new and the rest second and third fill 400l French oak barrels were used.
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