IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT THE VINEYARDS
Mourvèdre is one of the most underrated red grape wine varieties and it goes by 95 other names, including Mataró, which is used in Portugal.
It is a well-known rosé variety used in regions such as Provence and the Rhône Valley in France. Our Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre is produced from grapes on the slopes of the Schapenberg as well as the rest of the Stellenbosch wine growing region, characterized by relatively mild winters and long, warm summers. The vines are cultivated under dryland conditions and planted in a combination of sandstone and deep red soils which provide adequate water for this late ripening variety.
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, nor the addition of extraction enzymes or settling agents, 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 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 an extended period to add further complexity before bottling.
AND A FEW PRAYERS TO MOTHER NATURE – THE 2022/23 GROWING SEASON
The 2022 Winter was slightly warmer than the previous years and we also saw less rainfall. Keeping all of this in mind our farm manager (Christiaan Loots) started to implement minimum tilling in the vineyard, packing more mulch in between the vines, adding biochar and experimenting with interesting cover crops.
All with the aim of improving the soil health by promoting more beneficial microbial growing conditions, retaining moisture, keeping the soil cooler and adding natural forms of nitrogen. In the last 3 years he has taken the percentage of carbon matter from 1% in some block to 4%.
With the slightly warmer Winter conditions we were surprised by an earlier budburst as well as flowering. We were lucky to not experience strong winds during the growing period which helped to have an even fruit set.
The growing season took an interesting turn during the second week of December with heavy rainfall. The team had to be on a close watch of the vineyard to make sure that we avoid any mildew.
Verasion was a week or so earlier and even due to the additional rainfall. We assumed that the harvest would then also start earlier but with the rest of the growing season being moderate to cool we only really got into the full swing of harvest form the second week of February.
The harvest was complicated a bit more with heavy rain falling toward the end of February. Luckily by this time we had already harvested all our white varieties and only had a few blocks of red left. We waited a week for the vineyard to utilize the excess water but it did help us to achieve good phenolic ripeness on the later red varieties. In the end a blessing from Mother nature!
Interesting enough we saw more bunches this year but smaller berries. The whites were up a little bit in yield and the reds were similar to 2022. The quality looks great with a lot of concentration and optimal acid levels.
A TASTING NOTE FROM THE GLASS OF NADIA LANGENEGGER
A delightfully pale colored rosé. Delicate, fresh red berry aromas especially pomegranates combined with a flinty note are prominent on the nose. The palate shows great length and elegance. Traditionally, the wine is served chilled on its own, but also marries well with the combination of spicy, tuna-based sushi and soy sauce.
THE NUMBERS (26 000 bottles produced)
Alc: 13.5 %
TA: 4.5 g/l