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Darling, Stellenbosch and Swartland
Ahead of this challenging vintage, winter brought enough cold to break dormancy although drought conditions persisted. It was the third year in a row without groundwater recharge. The cool weather continued into spring and delayed bud break, which occurred without incident. Cooler nights and days with higher than long-term rainfall kept vine development on track. October and November saw higher rainfall, but not enough to make up the deficit while Southeaster winds during flowering had a variety of impacts. December and January were significantly warmer than 2017. Harvest also began five days later and was defined by small berries, low yields and big concentration. Despite the rollercoaster ride, harvest’s near-perfect timing produced great, elegant wines with full ripeness.
A three-step selection process ensured only the best quality fruit was chosen for fermentation. Selective picking in the vineyard followed by both bunch and berry selection on the sorting table in the Cellar, is strictly observed. After 2 days of cold maceration the juice was inoculated with a combination of specially selected yeast strains. Fermentation took place at 26oC over six days. The wine was pressed before alcoholic fermentation was completed, to prevent the extraction of hard and dry tannins. The wine was racked to barrel where it underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine spent 16 months in barrel before blending.
This elegant and modern styled Pinotage shows true varietal characteristics, with an abundance of blackcurrant, black cherries, plums, and hints of fruit cake and marzipan on the nose. The intense concentration on the palate is the result of a combination of sweet fruit and well-integrated oak. The silky smooth tannins contribute to the juicy, round and seamless finish.
The wine spent 16 months in barrel. A 40% portion of the blend was aged in new barrels and the remainder in second and third-fill barrels. The wood utilised in the making of the wine comprised 85% French and 15% American oak.
This Pinotage can be savoured on its own or enjoyed with a variety of meat casseroles, roasted game, Cape Malay curry dishes or cheddar cheeses.
Enjoy now or cellar for five years from vintage.
Alcohol: 14.5 % v/v
Total acidity: 6 g/l
Residual sugar: 2.37 g/l