Winemaker: Wayne Arendse
Varieties: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Background to Field Blend
Centuries ago, all red wines, including those with the greatest reputations, were field blends. The flavors of different varieties, harvested in one batch, combined to produce a rewarding flavor combination, naturally balanced.
The three varieties that have given birth to this wine are only separated by a farm road. Unusually, they have always reached peak ripeness at the same time. This has traditionally put cellar staff under great pressure, putting each variety through the winemaking process using a single set of equipment. In 2021, for the first time, the cellarmaster elected to combine all three batches of grapes at the vineyard and make a single crush. This is the result.
The three adjacent vineyards share the shale soils of an elevated crest of a mountain foothill in the Doolhof Valley in Wellington, South Africa. All face south and west, away from the force of the south east summer wind and into the cool, moist afternoon breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean.
The bunches and loose berries were table sorted, with damaged grapes and loose leaves discarded. After a gentle crush, the mash was chilled overnight. It was then allowed to recover to room temperature before fermentation started. Open tanks were used with two hourly punch-downs, until most of the grape sugar had been converted. The mash was then pressed with the last steps of fermentation taking place in barrel, where the wine remained for 24 months.
100% barrel matured (30% new)