The relationship wine has with lees (mostly dead yeast cells) is an intriguing one and an important quality factor. Champagne and Cap Classique owe much of their style, quality and flavour to the time spent on lees in the bottle. The best cuvee’s usually being at least 18 months. Obviously, it’s a little different in barrel, but similar principles apply.
We have had exceptional results with some barrels of Chenin Blanc that have been in barrel for 18 to 20 months. 2002 being our first (accidental) experimental vintage. In 2017 we took this a step further and bottled a special barrel for the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. In 2018 we bottled a few larger format barrels for our first release of Reserva 2018, which was rewarded with a 5-star Platter rating and sold out within weeks. (The 2020 still to be rated?)
2019 was an excellent vintage, but the Chenin Blanc we had earmarked for the Reserva just didn’t meet our expectations. We are delighted with the 2020, however, and couldn’t wait to release it.
The extended period in barrels, 2 x 700L and 1 x 400L, along with the long lees contact, keeps the wine fresh and gives added layers of flavour and a creamy textured mouthfeel. The exceptional, low yielding old vines have the necessary intensity of fruit to compliment the time in barrel. 2020 was a warm, dry vintage with expressive fruit character that is beautifully balanced by the lees contact.
We had many disappointed customers who missed out on the 2018 release.
THIS IS A PRE - RELEASE AND YOUR ORDER WILL ONLY BE DISPATCHED FROM MONDAY 6 JUNE 2022