This was a generally good vintage for white wines with a very wet winter that replenished groundwater. There was good fruit set and even ripening. Summer was fairly mild, with few extreme days of heat. The result was good fruit and structural development with a healthy level of natural acid.
This wine can be enjoyed immediately but it will continue to develop in bottle for up to four years from vintage.
The fruit for this wine was selected from vineyards in two regions that grow in a combination of weathered granite and schist soils. The majority of components that make up the wine are all from a single property on West-facing slopes of the mountains of Tulbagh, grown at around 500m above sea level.
The bushvine Cinsaut vineyard in the region of Darling is just shy on 50 years old, and it contributes a bitter-cherry character to the blend. In the case of the remaining components, both altitude and cooling breezes that roll from the higher altitudes produce an incredible freshness and linear structure in the final blend. The growth season preceding the 2023 harvest was ideal for healthy fruit, but some varieties were late bloomers. The rains came earlier, putting pressure on the development of the
Mourvedre in particular. Nonetheless, skilled winemaking and careful balance resulted in a delicious wine.
The Shiraz consists of five different parcels from four different vineyards. Some stems were left during fermentation (up to 30%). The Grenache and Mourvedre were selected from two different blocks and completely destemmed while the Cinsaut originated from a single pick with almost 80% stems retained in the fermentation. All fermentation was done spontaneously in large open tanks with capacity of between three and eight tons each. Daily punchdowns were done and a single, light pump- over. The average time the wine spent on the skins was 21 days. After pressing and settling, the wine was aged for nine months in 500L French oak barrels. Limited wood character was pursued, so the barrels were between six and eight years old. Once blended, the wine was lightly filtered and bottled.
The crimson-edged cerise colour of the wine reflects its essence: balance, vibrancy and dynamism. The aromas of spices and red fruit – with hints of currant and whiffs of raspberries and wild herbs — are very inviting. On the palate, the immediate reaction is one of juicy, bright freshness. It has a classic, powdery dry tannic structure which provides scaffolding for the delicate fruit. There is a very light use of oak which just fills out the gaps. This is a deceptively powerful wine, made with a light touch.
This wine is outstanding by itself as an aperitif or sundowner, but will pair well with grilled lamb, beef or game, tomato-based pastas and even dishes with spice.
This wine can be enjoyed immediately but will continue to develop in bottle for up to five years from vintage.