The aim at this Helderberg winery, says co-founder and MD Alex Dale, is to make ‘quality wine with a conscience’ using non-interventionist techniques including natural fermentations, no or very few additions, and low or no sulphur. ‘We continue our voyage of refining our wines, progressing our understanding of our terroirs and our natural potential.’ While chenin remains the white wine focus, red plantings are shifting to gamay and cinsaut: ‘Lighter reds with which to celebrate the progressively demising Parker-ised red wine era!’ Not only accredited for environmental practices but also for social upliftment, the company continues to invest in its human capital, for example budgeting R500,000 annually for private education. ‘Giving back to our people is as important as giving back to the land.’
Our Red Wine of the Year, this fine 2014 blend is delightful for sheer drinkability. Co-fermented Swartland carignan (37%), shiraz/syrah (35%), cinsaut, mourvèdre, grenache & viognier in which delicate lavender leads to juicy forest fruits & savoury spice.
At 12.5% alcohol, 2015 has great richness, intensity & length, with zesty citrus fruit bursting through creaminess, underscored by minerality, with some toasted nut nuances from 10 months French oak, 15% new. No 2014.
Bunch fermented (like AD & Freedom pinots) & matured in older, larger barrels 10 months, 2015 has a floral & oak spice perfume, ripe cherry fruit, brisk acidity, firm but seamless tannins, a dry finish & great length.