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 give them trellis support, as we do with our windswept Sauvignon blanc vines, for example.
On Waterkloof we farm organic and biological, producing our own compost and microbial preparations. We then distribute these by utilising our draught horses, as opposed to heavy tractors. These practices ensure loose soil with more life, where the vines can spread their roots as they please; taking up everything they need from our rich and complex earth. We believe that regenerative farming helps to produce honest, terroir-driven wines that are truly made in the vineyard.
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. The yield for the 2018 vintage was 2 tonnes per hectare.
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 30 months.
In keeping with our philosophy of minimum intervention, this wine was not fined and only underwent a basic filtration prior to bottling, to ensure that it can be enjoyed in its purest form.
And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature – 2017/2018 Growing Season
The Cape experienced a very dry growing season from the end of the 2017 harvest and also during the beginning of 2018. The 2017 winter was not exceptionally cold but still colder than the previous three years, which helped to ensure an even budburst. The rainfall was the lowest that we have experienced in the last 10 years on the farm.
Budburst started earlier than usual seeing that the winter was not very cold. We could see some of the first buds appear early in September. From there on the vines were struggling to grow due to the dry conditions and veraison only took place in early January. The dam levels were also low and we were only able to irrigate the younger blocks. The best practice during dry conditions is to always have a complete weed-free vineyard to prevent excessive water usage and to limit stress on the vine by suckering if needed- sometimes this also happens naturally.
In early January we did receive rain and also a bit in early February. We believe that this was the saving grace for our vines to help them ripen the fruit more evenly. During this time, we did not see excessive heat spikes and had lovely cool evenings which helped to have a longer growing season and have all the flavours develop over a longer period.
Harvest started about 10 days later than in 2017. We saw a decrease in berry size on some blocks. Fortunately, little to no rot was found on the grapes, which helped to have a stress-free sorting table. Overall, we are more than happy with the quality of the 2018 harvest.
A Tasting Note From The Glass Of Nadia Langenegger
Mourvedre shows a lot of variation from vintage to vintage reflecting the characteristics of the year nicely in the glass. As 2018 a drier vintage the savoury notes on the wine is more prominent to me but I also smell floral notes as well as variety of red berries. On the pallet the wine has a prominent tannin that covers your whole pallet and has a lovely length. I would be inclined to enjoy this red with a red meat on the bone prepared over fire. I would be inclined to enjoy this red with a red meat on the bone prepared over fire.
The Numbers (7800 Bottles Produced):