This is a SAWIS certified single vineyard wine. Planted in 2002, this vineyard just survived a wild fire that swept over the farm in 2006. We don’t expect more than 3 tons per hectare due to the steepness and wind. Home is clay rich ancient shale mixed with weathered sandstone from the mountainside. At 450m above sea level, the vines look south west towards the Atlantic Oceans. Hand-pruned and hand-picked.
The grapes “cold soak”for a few days before “wild”fermentation kicks off, the party taking place in the open top fermentors – 30% whole bunches. The cap is gently hand-plunged 3 time a day. We press off towards the end of the fermentation and age between 12 and 18 months in mostly old 225lt barrels. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
On the nose the wine is mesmerizingly complex – with notes of ripe strawberry, Indian spice, plum, cardamom, thyme, rhubarb, red cherry and a touch of toasty cinnamon. Every time one takes a sniff a new nuance reveals itself. The palate is elegant and soft, but alive and fresh with lingering creamy tannin. Flavours of strawberry, chocolate, dried garden herbs, ripe nectarine, warm spices and a touch of vanilla wash over your palate. The complexity of the wine could be overpowering, but is balanced by intriguing red berry freshness.
Try braaied king prawns from Mozambique. Or slow roasted veal shoulder. It goes with a lot of surprisingly rich foods as well.
WIETA, SAWIS single vineyard
I love Pinot Noir. It transcends the obvious and the easy. Like life, however, it can sometimes seem unforgiving, unfair and unfathomable. But, when this grape shines, what lies beneath the layers of aroma and flavour can be so moving one instantly becomes a believer again.
The nose shows an intriguing blend of just-ripe strawberry and blueberry, wrapped up in spring herbs and dark chocolate oak. The palate echoes the ripe, red forest fruits of the nose, and also reflects the subtle and complexing herbaceous characters. The tannins are creamy, long and persistent. This wine benefits from being decanted a day or two before consuming. It will age gracefully for at least 15 years if stored correctly.
Lobenberg Gute Weine: 95-96 + / 100
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