In our previous newsletter I mentioned that I was very excited about the quality prospects for the 2021 vintage, and that all the signs were there that it will be a harvest to remember, and I can now safely say that my expectations did not disappoint!
The harvest started about 14 days later than the long-term average, making it an exceptionally late season. On the 14th of January we removed all the green bunches from both vineyards (Paarl and Wellington) to ensure that the remaining bunches could be ripened evenly and optimally by the vine. The Wellington vineyard was harvested on the 11th of February, followed a week later by the Paarl vineyard on the 19th.
In the cellar the fermentation process progressed smoothly, giving us sufficient time to obtain a calculated extraction of colour and tannins, with clean and pure fruit characteristics on the nose. After primary fermentation, the wine was transferred to 70% new and 30% second-fill French oak barrels to undergo the process of malolactic fermentation (MLF). Weekly analyses confirmed that MLF was completed on the 20th of April. During the course of next week, the wine will be racked off the MLF lees (yeast sediment) at the bottom of the barrels, and on the same day it will return to the barrels again, after we’ve given them a good rinse. The wine will then mature in barrel until the middle of December 2022, and during this period the extraction of wood tannins, along with the micro-oxygenation process taking place via the pores in the wood, will combine to create something very special.
The focus will then shift to the 2020 vintage’s wines still lying in barrels, which will be bottled during December this year. Therefore we currently have two exceptional wines ageing in barrels – one which has just started its maturation process, and the other which will be bottled in about six months’ time.