It’s Really All About The Vineyards
Circumstance Chardonnay is produced from 18 year old vines planted in old compacted sandstone, on the windswept, low-yielding slopes of the Schapenberg, which is on the coastal outskirts of Stellenbosch. We use organic and biodynamic methods based on Old World, sustainable practices in our vineyards to ensure that the vines are nourished, healthy and in balance. Our soils are free of chemicals and are kept healthy by using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from our own organic compost.
These traditional methods ensure a balanced vine that produces small yields and intense flavours. The vineyards are about five kilometers from the sea and are planted at a height of 270 to 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium-sized stones helping with drainage and moisture retention. Production was approximately 5 t/ha.
A Gentle Hand
Waterkloof’s winemaking philosophy is the same for all our premium white wines. We follow a traditional, minimalist approach which means that we interfere as little as possible with the winemaking process. This allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to be expressed in the bottle. All grapes are whole bunch pressed for the gentle extraction of the purest juices. It is then allowed to settle for 24 hours, after which we rack the clean juice to older 600L barrels. At Waterkloof we also rely on natural, wild yeast fermentation to allow a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. Fermentation took place at temperatures between 18 ºC to 20ºC.
And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature- 2013/14 Growing Season
We experienced an exceptionally cold and wet winter. This accumulation of cold units is very favourable and ensures an even budburst and an elegant ripening process. Prior to the winter stage, our main focus in the vineyards was to further enhance the health and quality of our soils by adding life in the form of bacteria, fungi and earthworms. This was achieved through biodynamic preparations, natural composting and cover cropping.
We had very high rainfall in mid-November and in the beginning of January. Budburst was later this year as the winter seemed to carry on longer. When the first buds emerged we only sprayed a fungi (Trichoderma specie) onto them for protection and to inhibit any other fungal growth. The results were fantastic and as natural as can be.
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Barnard
A distinguished wine of great finesse and elegance. The aromas are of white flesh fruit, such as white peaches. With age, the aromas will evolve to almond and lightly grilled dried fruit. On the palate, there is a rich sensation of fullness. Long and persistent in the aftertaste, ending with an exceptional wealth of flavours.
The Numbers (535 bottles produced)