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 Rhône 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 harness the heat units from the earth, when temperatures drop in the evenings. It is also a wind-resistant vine, therefore it is unnecessary for us to trellis on supporting wires, like 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 mornings, 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 all our Rhône varietals and believe that tannins should be extracted slowly and gently during the fermentation process. In order to achieve this, we stomp the grapes twice a day with our feet instead of using a machine or doing pump overs. 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 – 2016/2017 Growing season
What looked like an average harvest, due to the winter drought, turned out well, much to our surprise. This also attested yet again that Mother Nature will always keep us on our toes.
The 2016 Cape winter did not see a lot of rainfall – about half the average – and it was also not exceptionally cold. We barely saw any snow on the mountains.
Spring started early which lead to an early bud burst and flowering. Thankfully we did not experience strong winds during this period, which helped with an even berry set. Seeing that we already experienced drought conditions during the berry formation stage, cell formation was also impacted to produce small cells from the start.
In January we received some rain which changed the game and assisted the vine to grow without being too stressed. During the rest of the season we had beautiful cool evenings and mild day temperatures and this ensured a proper, even ripening process.
We started picking at the end of January and were very happy to see little to no rot; small berries with a lot of concentration, and great acids!
Tasting Notes from the Glass of Nadia Barnard
A complex wine that keeps me going back to my glass with a fusion of savoury and sage notes and supple raspberry and dark fruit. It can be paired with a variety of dishes, but should show well with wild boar or lamb on the grill.
The numbers (6400 Bottles Produced):