CIRCUMSTANCE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2021

£13.15

Stellenbosch. Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc is often described as The Pouilly Fumé of Stellenbosch. Stunning! Vegan and biodynamic.

18 in stock

SKU: 236541 Categories: ,

Description

Crushed laurel on the nose with more than a nuance of residual seaside salt. This has a big and textured palate with stone fruit and fennel hints – it is rich and minerally, showing even a slight rocky quality about it. As bracing as the wind through the vines at Waterkloof.

GRAPE Sauvignon Blanc CLOSURE Screwtop
REGION Stellenbosch VEGETARIAN Yes
VINTAGE 2020 VEGAN Yes
ABV 13.5% ORGANIC No

 

DRY     *________|________|________|________|     SWEET

LIGHT     |________|________*________|________|     FULL BODIED

NO OAK     *________|________|________|________|     OAKY

Additional information

Waterkloof

n 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheatre of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: THIS IS IT! Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began.

Schapenberg (Afikaans for ‘Sheep Mountain’) nestles almost in the centre of the embrace of the Hottentots-Holland and Helderberg mountains. Its highest point is 300 metres above sea level and a scant four kilometres from the False Bay coast.

It used to be the hill where former Cape Colony Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel grazed his sheep, but it was also his lookout post to identify visiting ships, allowing him to race into town and sell his produce before the competition could. These days however, more and more vineyards are being planted in the area, already known as being the coolest in the Stellenbosch wine growing region.

Although grapes were planted on Waterkloof since the early 1970s, the production of fine wines originated when the farm was planted, with some of the best material available, in the mid-1990s. Paul Boutinot took over the property just before the 2004 harvest, but the first vintage bottled under the Waterkloof name was from the 2005 harvest.

Soon after, Paul was joined by Cellarmaster Werner Engelbrecht and Farm Manager Christiaan Loots and following the wisdom of the Old World experience and soil surveys, they determined which varieties, rootstocks and trellis systems to use. A major new planting and replanting exercise was completed by 2008, with vineyard now covering 53 hectares of the 100 hectare farm.

From the outset, it was decided that the other half of the farm should be set aside to preserve the rare and abundant natural vegetation, fauna and flora (fynbos) situated on the property and in May 2008, Waterkloof was awarded Champion Status by the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, for its enterprising endeavours in this regard (click here to find out more).

Following logically from these efforts, and as a result of Paul’s experience visiting vineyards and tasting from a range of biodynamic & organic wine producers around the world, it was then decided in 2008 to begin the conversion of Waterkloof to a fully-fledged organic farm with integrated biological farming.

Finally, in 2009 a state-of-the-art gravitational cellar, tasting room and restaurant was constructed on the Schapenberg and Waterkloof began exporting its unique wines around the world.

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Production

t’s Really All About the Vineyard

On Waterkloof we farm organic and biological, producing our own compost and microbial preparations. We then distribute these by utilising our draught horses, as opposed to heavy tractors. These practices ensure loose soil with more life, where the vines can spread their roots as they please; taking up everything they need from our rich and complex earth. We believe that regenerative farming helps to produce honest, terroir-driven wines that are truly made in the vineyard

These traditional methods, combined with a southwest-facing, windy vineyard site ensure a balanced and naturally low yielding vine that produces intense flavours. The vineyards are about 5 kilometers from the sea and are planted at a height of between 270 and 300 meters above sea level. The soils are of sandstone origin with medium-sized stones, helping with drainage and also with moisture retention. The vineyards are an average age of 22 years.

A Gentle Hand

The winemaking philosophy is the same for all of Waterkloof’s premium white wines. We follow a traditional, minimalistic approach which means that we interfere as little as possible with the winemaking process. This allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to be expressed in the wine. To achieve this, all grapes are harvested on taste, picked by hand, sorted by hand and finally whole-bunch pressed in our modern basket press, so that we extract the purest juice in the gentlest way. The juice is then settled naturally for 24 hours. As we don’t spray any chemicals in our vineyard, wild yeast is employed to ferment the juice in old 600litre barrels. This leads to a longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. The natural fermentation process took 5 months to complete, after which the wine was left on the gross less for another 2 months. We do not add any acid or enzymes during the winemaking process, with only a light filtration and a small addition of sulphur added as a preservative prior to bottling.

And A Few Prayers To Mother Nature- 2019/2020 Growing Season

For the past 4 years, the Western Cape has been experiencing a severe drought. During winter of 2019, we did welcome more rain than in the previous two years and were very blessed to receive over 500mm.

Budburst and flowering were earlier than usual, starting with the first buds at the beginning of September. Towards the end of the flowering season there was some rain, but fruit set was luckily still even.

The remainder of the growing season was ideal, with enough sunlight and not too much rain – which could lead to mildew. At the end of January, the south easterly wind did howl through the property, which led to a lot of leaf loss and even that of some grape bunches. Not much could be done to mitigate this, except to spend more time in the vineyards and divide the blocks into different sectors in preparation for harvest. We first removed fruit in risk of sunburn and monitored each block very closely.

Our 2020 harvest commenced on the 29th of January and reached full intensity from the 5th of February. The harvest conditions were positive with enough sun, not too much rain and only a few very hot days. The whites came in over a period of about 2 weeks, with the reds following immediately after – this made harvest logistics a little easier. All harvest dates were determined by taste in the vineyard, waiting to achieve the ideal balance between phenolic ripeness, potential alcohol and acid. In terms of yield, there was some variation but overall, we saw an increase of approximately 10% on 2019.

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