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Tim Atkin Annual South African Report 2018 – 93 points
TERROIR / SOIL:
Decomposed granite soils on the slopes of the Helderberg mountains.
VINEYARD AND CLIMATE CONDITIONS:
The vines are grown on the west-north-westerly-facing slope of the majestic Helderberg mountain, on the southern side of Stellenbosch. At 7 km from the False Bay coast and 300 metres above sea level, these elements contribute to slow ripening of the 12 year old vines’ fruit. The granitic soil features clay in the subsoil which aids in moisture retention. This results in small berries concentrated in flavour and tannin. The foliage is manicured to withstand the onslaught of the cool southeasterly wind during ripening and to enable the bunches to develop colour and flavour evenly during the cool, slow cycle of ripening.
The grapes were handpicked and hand-sorted to ensure only the best coloured and sized fruit were selected. Fermentation occurred in a combination of stainless steel and open top oak fermenters for an extended period of 36 days and barrelled down to 100% new French oak barrels for 26 months. Barrel selection was done to make the perfect blend of the original single vineyard site.
Alc: 14.55 % vol
TA: 5.9 g/L
RS: 2.9 g/L
Dark ruby red with a vibrant, youthful rim.
An abundance of cassis and black cherry with concentrated oak aromas of toast and pencil lead. A full-bodied wine with a concentrated structure and opulent finish.
Chargrilled sirloin or rib eye steak. Alternatively, serve with a rich almond and aubergine or lamb shank stew.