Cape of Good Hope and Antonij Rupert very generously gifted me a beautifully packaged box of goodies with the loveliest handwritten letter.
Free wine is great…but, if you know me…you know it’s not really my thing. What is my thing is when you tell me a story about your wine, and that story stops me in my tracks, and sends me down a fascinating rabbit hole to learn more about the admirable efforts and initiatives to save and treasure the Old Vines in South Africa. Also…as far as I’m concerned, spring starts on 1 September and what could be more spring appropriate than Sauvignon Blanc?
Pale lemon with a pronounced nose of passion fruit, guava leaves, pineapple, asparagus, lemon zest, tinned peas, and yes…cut grass. Textbook.
Off dry? There’s definitely some RS. High acidity, medium- body because of the slinkiness to the mouthfeel that counteracts the infamous jarring acidity of Sauv Blanc. Lime cordial is a pretty good descriptor because it has a similar feel, lemon peel, pineapple, a touch of herbal that we’re going to call grass for continuity. A decent medium+ finish that’s mostly zingy citrus and slightly bitter lemon peel…though, I’m really enjoying finding pockets of fruitiness hiding on my gums.
The silky texture (along with the slight RS) are what stand out for me. There’s absolutely no chance, but I think this would make a good candidate for ageing. Aged SB is a revelation!
Vini + Viti:
The grapes are grown in Altima, a cool climate vineyard in the isolated and continental climate valley of Elandskloof. These vineyards are planted at an elevation of between 600 and 800 metres above sea level, and there's less direct sunlight as the valley is surrounded by overshadowing mountains.
The grapes are destemmed and crushed, followed by skin contact overnight. The free run juice is settled and fermented separately in stainless steel, and spend 7 months on the lees.
Continental climates aren’t something you often hear about in SA…and I’m fascinated by the more extreme regions and their effect on the grape growing in Altima in cool climate Elandskloof. Fun fact, they’ve also cultivated Black Perold truffles on this farm…can you say yum!
I’ve always loved reading and listening to the story of Rosa Kruger and the Old Vine Project that was sponsored by Johan Rupert. What I never really grasped was that these terroir specific Cape of Good Hope wines form part of an initiative to celebrate and protect South Africa’s wine heritage.