WINE Magazine November 2009 - 3½ stars
Ripe and exotic, a distinctive, spicy wine that is rich and subtly oaked, with a slight aroma of roasted almonds. The Chardonnay gives superb lime-citrus flavours and the Viognier lends a delicate perfume of dried peaches and apricots while the Sauvignon blanc punctuates the palate with concentrated pungency.
40% Sauvignon Blanc, 34% Viognier, 26% Chardonnay
In The Vineyard
At 340 meters above sea level, the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards are the most elevated at Zevenwacht. Three clones are planted that perfectly suit the site. Pungency and aromatic concentration are the hallmark of a fine Sauvignon Blanc and there is no shortage of these characteristics on the lofty southern slopes of the Kuils River hills. The decomposed granite soils include desirable clay elements that retain moisture during the drier months of ripening, yet, as a result of the prominent gravel fractions, allow for excellent drainage.
The Chardonnay vineyard is from a site that faces almost west and is on the lower slopes of the Kuils River hills. The richness and full-bodied fruit in the wine has been accentuated by the inclusion of this block. The clone is 166, a clone that imparts a wonderful Muscat aroma.
We harvested our first crop of Viognier in 2008 from vines planted in 2003. The Viognier comes from the warmer northern slopes of the Banhoek area.
In The Cellar
Cool fermentation has allowed outstanding expression of the herbal and pungent fruity characters of this grape variety. Extended post-fermentation lees contact lends a mid-palate weight and a creamy texture without obscuring the articulation of the aromatic potential.
Very ripe grapes were whole-bunch pressed. After settling the clear juice was racked to first and second fill French 500 litre barrels and second fill French Hogsheads, where it fermented and matured for 6 months. Assemblage took place after 9 months and the wine was stirred on the lees for a further 4 months.
The golden yellow grapes were harvested at 24° Brix and lightly crushed. After pressing the juice was settled and racked to second-fill French Hogsheads. Fermentation took place with select yeasts and lasted almost 3 weeks with the temperature never rising above 25° C. Regular bâtonnage (lees stirring) has helped in the development of the creamy texture of this wine.