The Last of The First 2019
Professor Perold’s creation, Pinotage, was propagated at Elsenburg College in 1935. In 1941 Myrtle Grove on the Schapenberg was chosen for the first commercial plantings. Today only one block remains on the Schapenberg – The Last of The First. Completely different in style to inland Pinotage. Elegant, perfumed, graceful – pinotage as it was originally intended?
A REGISTERED SINGLE VINEYARD
A small and singular parcel of mature, dryland farmed bush vine Pinotage measuring just 1.3 hectares and planted back in 1994. Now the last of its kind to be found on the maritime slopes of the Schapenberg, where the original commercial plantings of Pinotage took place. This rare little block sits just 6km from False Bay on a steep, elevated and cooler slope. Soils are stony and well-drained and therefore low-vigour. However, they are also blessed with a deep red/yellow clay sub-soil enabling good moisture retention, which is essential on the Schapenberg as this hillside has the lowest rainfall in Stellenbosch. Due to these low vigour soils, a lack of irrigation, incessant wind and the eschewal of synthetic fertilisers the berry-size and yield are tiny at just over 3tons/ha or 18hl/ha. Good things really do often come in small packages and the up-side here is healthy grapes with excellent balanced concentration.
The approach is natural and simple, yet also rigorous and labour-intensive. Organically farmed, handpicked and hand sorted by the team at False Bay Vineyards. Fermented whole bunch with wild yeast in a small open top oak fermenter with manual punch downs during fermentation. Left on the skins and stems for 31 days before being pressed off in a basket press and transferred to 3 old 600 litre barrels for a maturation period of 16 months before bottling without fining and only the lightest of filtrations. Minimal SO2 added with no further additions. 1549 bottles made.
Colour: Luminescent dark cherry.
Aroma: Black cherries, plums, floral and mildly earthy. Similar to a Martinborough Pinot Noir.
Taste: Excellent balance, finely integrated tannins threading through from start to finish. Morello cherry with a touch of earthiness.
Drink now and over the next 5-10 years depending on your taste.
Serve at 15 degrees Celsius, 59 Fahrenheit.
Match made in Heaven: Duck!
Vineyard: A Registered Single Vineyard on the Schapenberg (W.O. Stellenbosch)
Farmer: Christiaan Loots
Cellarmaster: Nadia Langenegger
Production: 1549 bottles
Residual Sugar: 2.14g/L
Total Acid: 5.33g/L
VA: 0.7 g/L