It’s really all about the Vineyards
Originally from Spain and named after the Spanish city Murviedro, Mourvèdre is known as the signature varietal in France`s Bandol region and also used in the Languedoc and Southern Rhone as part of their red blends.
It is a later ripening varietal that enjoys, dry, warm and sunny conditions. For this reason, our Mourvèdre is planted as bush vines to get the heat units from the earth when temperatures drop in the evenings. It is also a wind-resistant vine, making it unnecessary for us to trellis on supporting wires, as we do with our windswept sauvignon blanc vines, for example.
We use organic and biodynamic methods and adhere to Old World, sustainable practices in our vineyards to ensure that the vines are nourished 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.
The two single vineyard blocks are approximately four kilometers from the sea and are planted at a height of between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium sized stones, helping with drainage.
A Gentle Hand
We follow a ‘less is more’, minimal intervention winemaking philosophy for all our wines and the grapes are tasted at regular intervals to determine optimal ripeness and flavour development.
We pick our grapes early in the morning when they are still cool, which helps to preserve the flavours.
The red varietals are sorted and placed into wooden fermenters by the use of a gravity flow system. We do natural whole-bunch fermentation for our Rhône varietals and have always believed that tannins should be extracted slowly and gently during the course of fermentation. In order to achieve this we stomp the grapes twice a day with our feet instead of using a machine or doing pumpovers. The wine then spends roughly one month on the skins after which it is run down via gravity and the skins are pressed in a basket press.
Malolactic fermentation also takes place naturally in barrel, without the addition of bacteria. Our Mourvèdre was aged in older 600L French barrels for about 16 months.
In keeping with our philosophy of minimum intervention, this wine only underwent a basic filtration prior to bottling to ensure that the wine is enjoyed in its purest form.
And a Few Prayers to Mother Nature – 2014/2015 Growing season
The Stellenbosch area experienced a good winter with sufficient rain to fill the dams and provide enough cold units in July to have the vines in full dormancy. From August the temperatures started to rise slowly and spring arrived early with flowering occurring under ideal conditions. This ensured even ripeness, which contributed to excellent grape quality. During this stage we also experienced windy conditions which led to looser bunches and a naturally lower yield, packed with concentration
Rainfall fell off dramatically from September with warm, dry weather and less severe winds than usual. Throughout the growing season, temperatures remained moderate, with intermittent hot days. Veraison (the onset of ripening) started about 2 weeks earlier than usual.
During the rest of the growing season we saw little rain, which resulted in very low disease pressure. Even though the days were warm, we noticed that the evenings cooled down favourably.
The 2015 harvest was the earliest to date at Waterkloof. We started picking 2 weeks earlier than usual due to the early spring, but hang time was sufficient to allow phenolic ripeness. The quality of the fruit was exceptional – low pH, high acidity and clean fruit with little to no rot.
Tasting Notes from the Glass of Nadia Barnard
A distinct flinty note is prominent on the nose followed by red berries and floral nuances. The wine shows a lot of finesse and elegance. It can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes but should pair well with wild boar or lamb with Provençal herbs.
The numbers (2560 Bottles Produced):