It’s Really All about the Vineyards
Mourvèdre is one of the most underrated red grape wine varietals and it goes by 95 other names, including Mataró, which is used in Portugal.
It is a well-known rosé varietal used in regions such as Provence and the Rhône Valley in France. Our Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre is produced from grapes in the Stellenbosch wine growing region, characterised by relatively mild winters and long, warm summers. The vines are cultivated under dryland conditions and planted in cool, deep red soils which provide adequate water for this late ripening varietal.
A Gentle Hand
Grapes were hand harvested and hand sorted, followed by a gentle whole bunch pressing in our new horizontal basket press, to extract only the finest juice. No further maceration of the juice with the skins was allowed, which resulted in a very light salmon colour rosé. The juice was run down via gravity into tank and left to settle naturally for 12 hours.
From there, we racked the clean juice off to wooden fermenters to start the natural fermentation spontaneously, relying on wild yeasts that occur naturally in the vineyard.
The reason why we ferment in our older wooden fermenters is to ensure a slow ingress of oxygen throughout the process and therefore a longer fermentation without picking-up any oak aromas. The wine was then left on the primary lees for approximately 8 months to add further complexity before bottling.
And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature – 2018/19 Growing Season
The current harvest is determined by the conditions of the previous years. With this taken into account, we could see that all of our hard work in 2018 certainly paid off in this year’s harvest. The leaves were still green for more than a month after picking the grapes. We welcomed a bit of rain just after the 2018 harvest, which also helped the vine to build-up some much-needed reserves.
The 2018 winter was cold and the vine could go into proper dormancy. During this time, we worked hard to build up the nutrients required in the vineyard for the summer growing period. At Waterkloof we are always tweaking the processes. One example, of many, is the deep bed system, where we put plant cuttings and manure into an area that used to be aerated by chickens scratching around. This time round, the chickens were substituted by three beautiful little pigs to dig channels into the compost to turn it. This mixture was especially beneficial during the drought, as it is a rich source of carbon that improves the water retention ability of the soils.
We experienced an even budburst during a cool spring but had a lot of wind during flowering which led to uneven berry set on some of the blocks. To help the vine ripen properly, we only kept the more developed bunches on the vine.
The summer growing season was fairly cool, except for a few warmer days in October. We were also very happy to welcome some rain in January, which accompanied by the wind, led to the soil receiving good moisture without having humidity build-up on the grapes that could cause rot.
The 2019 harvest commenced the last week of January but went into full swing from the first week of February. We picked our last grapes at the end of March. On the younger blocks, the yield was down by about 10%, but the older blocks produced more or less the same.
The whites showed a lot of concentration and vibrant acidity. With the reds, we had lovely small berries with thick skins. During processing, we once again worked gently to avoid over-extracting and let Mother Nature takes her course with our natural ferments.
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Barnard
A delightfully pale coloured rosé. Delicate red berry aromas especially pomegranate and raspberries combined with a flinty note are prominent on the nose. The palate shows finesse and elegance with lingering fresh acidity on the aftertaste, Traditionally the wine is served chilled on its own, but also marries well with spicy, tuna-based sushi.
The Numbers (21 138 bottles)
RS: 1.4 g/l
TA: 4.6 g/l