STORY BEHIND THIS WINE
From some of the oldest vineyards in South Africa. These Franschhoek Semillon vineyards have acclimated to the harsh conditions and alluvial soils in which they grow, producing unique wines with intense depth and complexity. The deep root system and high skin to pulp ratio of these old vineyards produce intensely complex, well-structured wines with unbelievable ageing potential. Two of the vineyards used for our Semillon planted 1902, and 1942 are unirrigated bushvines growing on little to no slope in the ancient Franschhoek Riverbed. Both these vineyards are well established in alluvial soils with a high loam content. The third vineyard planted 1936, is located further up the valley on 45-degree south-facing slope on decomposed granite and quartz.
Grapes are whole bunch pressed and spontaneously fermented in 225L classic barriques and concrete eggs. Maturation occurs at low temperatures, without sulphur additions, for 14 months in 70% new French Oak barriques and 30% in concrete eggs.
The 2018 Semillon vintage had excellent growing conditions with a good set and even ripening, delivering healthy fruit – ideal for creating rich wines with concentration and structure. The Semillon ripened more evenly than previous vintages with little to no extreme weather conditions during the harvest period. We are incredibly excited about this vintage; the wine shows excellent structure without being overly phenolic and therefore more expressive in its youth than previous vintages.
The nose shows aromas of ripe mandarin, orange blossom, angelica and gentle whiffs of lemon curd with a slight smokiness and a hint of crushed gravel. Layered fruit is offered on the palate with flavours of lemongrass, tangerine and a vibrant, zesty mouthfeel being perfectly balanced and not dominated by oak-derived spiciness and nuances of fenugreek, tarragon and dill. The mid-palate is full, rich and hugely complex, with attractive weight and a creamy, cedary character, balanced with a lemony freshness, suggesting tremendous ageing potential. The finish is clean, dry and flinty with a complex preserved lemon, citrus peel and grapefruit character and notes of celeriac, chamomile and fennel lingering in the mouth.