Grapes for our 2012 Essence were sourced from one parcel of 33 year-old Chenin Blanc planted in the stony Shale and Schist based soils of the Kasteelberg, and one parcel of 40+ year-old dry land, bush vine Chenin Blanc grown in the decomposed Granite of the Paardeberg. These are our parcels that give us the best acidity at harvest.
Grapes were harvested at normal ripeness then left to dry for an extended period in the shade outdoors (similar to how we dry the grapes for our Mullineux Straw Wine). This allowed moisture to evaporate naturally from the berries, super-concentrating the sugars and acids to 50% more than for our normal straw wine! The grapes were pressed whole bunch, and racked to a single old 225L barrel. A little sulphur was added to inhibit bacteria but allow the natural yeast to ferment. Due to the extreme osmotic pressure in the juice, fermentation lasted 54 months, and once we were confident it had definitely finished fermenting we racked and bottled the wine unfiltered and unfined.
Dark golden in colour with a rich, viscous appearance. This is a complex, enticing blend of dried apricots and caramalised marmalade, with notes of almonds, marzipan and honey. The super-concentrated mouth-feel is balanced by an intense freshness and long, balanced finish.
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