It’s Really All About The Vineyards
A crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most famous red wine grape in the world and is celebrated as the king of the reds because of its great structure. With its small, thick skinned berries, it has a high proportion of colour and tannins in the juice.
The block used for our Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon is on the north-west facing slopes of The Schapenberg, at an altitude of about 270 and 300m above sea level and a mere 5km from The Atlantic Ocean. Strong south-easterly winds help control growth and crop yield. Soils are of decomposed granite origin with fine sand/loam topsoil with medium size stones, helping with both drainage and moisture retention. Production was approximately 2 tons/ha.
At Waterkloof we pride ourselves in not spraying chemical herbicides or pesticides in our vineyards. We produce our own compost and biodynamic preparations, which we then distribute using our Percheron horses, as opposed to heavy tractors. These practices ensure loose soil with more life, where the vines can spread their roots as they please; taking up everything they need from our rich and complex earth. We believe that biodynamic farming helps lead to terroir-driven wines, which are truly made in the vineyard.
A Gentle Hand
We harvest according to taste and find it essential to spend a lot of our time in the vineyards to see how the flavours develop. Grapes were destemmed, hand sorted and placed into our open-top wooden fermenters via gravity. The natural fermentation started spontaneously- utilising the wild yeasts present on the fruit. Punch downs (twice a day) were used during fermentation to ensure a soft and slow colour and tannin extraction. The wines spent 35 days on the skins to help integrate the tannins and stabilise the colour. The skins were separated from the juice via gravity flow and gently pressed in a basket press. The wine went through malolactic fermentation in barrel and was then aged in new (20%), second and third fill (80%) French barrels for 20 months. The wine received no fining to help ensure that the grape was purely expressed in the wine. Only sulphur was added and no other additions, such as tartaric acid or enzymes were allowed.
And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature- 2012/13 Growing Season
Ideal weather conditions during the harvest season – moderate day temperatures, cool night temperatures and no prolonged rain and heat waves – had a positive impact on wine grape quality and establishing good colour on the reds and lovely acidity on the whites with balanced flavours. The grapes were healthy with a bit of rot occurring later in the season.
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Barnard
On the nose there are distinct notes of cassis, dark fruit and pencil shavings. The mouth-feel is long, elegant with a memorable finish. Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect companion for a flame grilled steak and other red meats.
The Numbers (3 926 bottles produced)
TA: 4.7 g/l
RS: 2.8 g/l