Waterkloof releases new red trio under Circumstance label
Waterkloof, the cellar outside Somerset West with its award-winning architecture and panoramic views of False Bay, unlocks nature’s true potential with a new 2009 vintage triple act in its acclaimed Circumstance collection – a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
“Everyone is still talking about the 2009 harvest and it is certainly the best vintage I have tasted in many years. The exceptional quality of it lies in two things: a dramatic lower yield and the length of the growing season. During the 2009 harvest, cool growing conditions allowed for a longer and slower ripening period, which ensured grapes with a high natural acidity and packed with flavour,” explains Waterkloof Winemaker Werner Engelbrecht.
2009 Was also the year in which Waterkloof celebrated the completion of their ultra-modern 500 ton gravitational cellar with its maiden harvest, which Mother Nature clearly blessed.
Soaring on the slopes of the Schapenberg, Waterkloof’s amphitheatre of bio-dynamically farmed vineyards is defined by a unique set of circumstances which shapes the wines. These conditions range from the mix of soils to the altitude and particular micro-climate of each individual vineyard, hence the name of the estate’s Circumstance range.
“Due to the close proximity of False Bay and our height above sea level, our cooler climate ensures perfect conditions for slow ripening, which imparts intense flavours, complexity and finesse to the red varietals,” adds Werner.
The Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 literally hails from ‘higher ground’, with some of Waterkloof’s Cabernet Sauvignon vines stretching up to 280 meters above sea level where they benefit from strong South Easterly winds during the growing season which helps to control growth, crop size and quality.
Waterkloof’s climate is especially good for growing Merlot. Cool weather during the growing season is beneficial to the varietal character, colour and structure of the grapes, ensuring a balanced natural acidity, ripe tannins and terrific concentrated flavours. The grapes for the Circumstance Merlot 2009 stems from elevated vineyards, planted at 260 meters above sea level.
The Rhône-style Circumstance Syrah 2009 was shaped by the high-altitude vineyards situated on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg.
“Elegantly echoed by our 2009 Syrah, we believe Schapenberg to be one of the finest cool-climate vineyard sites in South-Africa,” adds Werner.
All the grapes were fermented in open top wooden fermenters and in his pursuit for more individually styled wines, Werner relied only on naturally present, wild yeasts during fermentation. Manual punch downs were used during fermentation to maximise colour and tannin extraction and the wines stayed on the skins for 30 to 35 days.
The Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 spent 22 months in new (40%) and older French barrels followed by another two months in the tank prior to bottling; the Circumstance Merlot 2009 was aged in new (30%) and 2nd fill French barrels for 20 months whilst the Circumstance Syrah 2009 spent 20 months in new 600 litre barrels before bottling.
More about the Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
A rich, succulent red with a smooth, fine tannin structure and a great length which follows gracefully through on the palate. The wine, infused with ripe blackcurrant notes, has all the aromas and spiced flavours typical of this variety.
Ideal food partners: Grilled rump steak.
Recommended retail price: R155 per bottle
More about the Circumstance Merlot 2009
The Circumstance Merlot 2009 is a smooth, textured wine with soft, fine tannins but with enough backbone to last at least a decade or more. Pencil shavings, spice and tobacco flavours on the nose with a bright acidity with juicy fruit on the pallet.
Ideal food partners: Braised lamb and venison fillet.
Recommended retail price: R140 per bottle
More about the Circumstance Syrah 2009
The Circumstance Syrah 2009 is luscious and ingratiating, showing pure floral and herb fragrances, with hints of spice on the nose. Bright fruit is carried by a fresh acidity on the pallet.
Ideal food partners: Red meat, especially lamb or sirloin steak, flavoured with rosemary or thyme; or hearty casseroles.
Recommended retail price: R155 per bottle