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 – 2015/2016 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 typically elegant wine. Features raspberry, dark fruit and herbal notes whilst an almost meaty aroma can also be detected on the nose. It can be paired with a variety of dishes but should show well with wild boar or lamb on the grill.
The numbers (3700 Bottles Produced):