The Kloof Vineyard is dry land farmed and produces wine that is totally unique to South Africa. It has an inviting pretty, floral, perfumed nose with an abundance of pure red fruits that include cherries, raspberries and strawberries. The palate is soft, gentle and alluring, intricate yet layered, with fine powdery chalky tannins and lively acidity – perfectly balanced. The wine is exciting with good intensity and texture, and has significant ageing potential.
Grapes were selected from the Kloof vineyard with a higher solar radiation of 5200wh/m². Grapes were hand harvested into small crates and spent overnight in a cold room. Extensive bunch sorting by hand prior to destemming occured. Bunches were destemmed without crushing, with 5% whole bunch for complexity. Grapes were cold soaked for 5-7 days prior to the start of fermentation. Fermentation occured naturally in open top fermenters. A combination of gentle punchdowns and pumpovers by hand 2 times per day, depending on requirements were used during fermentation where temperature peaked at 32°C. The wines were transferred to 500L and 300L French oak barrels where malolactic fermentation took place (27% new wood, the rest 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill). Maturation in oak was for 12 months and on the lees for the full period. After ageing for 12 months in barrel, the wines were racked and blended in stainless steel tanks. The wines were clarified naturally for a period of 2 months before bottling.
A cool winter ensured good vine dormancy. Rainfall was low, similar to 2015 and 2016. Bud break and flowering took place in ideal warm sunny conditions, and although flowering was a little earlier than usual, crops were slightly bigger with exceptional fruit quality and concentration. An unusually cool December slowed down ripening and rain in January during veraison nourished the soils, enabling the vine to focus on ripening the fruit, rather than the foliage and root growth. Grapes were harvested from late February to mid-March. A drier year resulted in low disease pressure, phenolic ripeness and pristine fruit with high natural acidity and an intensity of fruit flavours. The dry vintages provided the intensity whilst the cool spell in December prolonged the ripening period providing the signature elegance marked by the 2017 vintage.