Veritas Wine Awards 2012 - Gold Medal
Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 - Commended
The soils' limestone and clay components help the vines to develop strong citrus flavours with a pronounced nuttiness on the mid-palate which leads through to a clean finish with zesty citrus notes.
The wine matures beautifully, the years adding dimension and complexity.
Maturation potential: 6 - 12 years
Enjoy with leg of lamb, grilled or barbecued meat such as lamb chops and sausages, as well as seafood and grilled fish.
In The Vineyard
De Wetshof is a third generation wine estate in South Africa's Robertson Valley, where wine has been made for over 150 years. Here Danie de Wet, proprietor and cellarmaster, is assisted by sons and co-owners Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker). De Wetshof Estate is a pioneer of noble white wines in South Africa and has also introduced superior red cultivars to the Robertson Wine Valley.
On De Wetshof a firm belief prevails, namely that one cannot know where you are going unless you know where you have come from. This is why the history of De Wetshof's vineyards plays a profound role in determining present and future wine quality. Since the early 1970's meticulous records have been kept on each vineyard as to the plants' reaction to soil-types, irrigation and the vagaries of climate, as well as their development and progress over the years. Each vineyard is thus vinified separately during the wine-making process, the wine-makers having a clear understanding of what the fruit of each vineyard's labour is going to deliver during a specific year.
This commitment to site-specific vineyard management and wine-making has been an integral part of the De Wetshof ethos from the outset and remains a vital and non-negotiable aspect of all the Estate's wines.
Vineyards block numbers 20, 19 and 34/35. Wine of Origin De Wetshof Estate.
The Robertson Valley is characterised by cold winters and sunny summers, with an average annual rainfall of 350 - 400mm. In summer a fresh southerly breeze from the Cape Agulhas coast has a cooling effect on the vineyards, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly and in perfect balance. The dry climate and the bracing breeze keeps pests to a minimum, resulting in sparse spraying programmes.
Computerised irrigation systems linked to weather station data and the monitoring of soil moisture-content ensures the vines are given the correct amount of water needed to produce grapes of optimum ripeness and developed flavours.
Rocky, gravelly mountain soils rich in limestone with a significant amount of clay to assist in the water-retention capacity helps the vines to develop fruit with strong citrus flavours and a characteristic nuttiness on the mid-palate and finish.
Age of the vines: 13 - 21 years
Vines per hectare: 4,000 and 4,500
Rootstock: Richter 99 and Richter 110
Planting row: 2,4m x 1m and 1,83m x 1,2m
Soil pH: 7,5 - 8,3
Trellising style: 6 Wire fence system cordon with spur pruning.
About The Harvest
The grapes are picked in the coolness of morning, and the emphasis is on capturing the beautiful rich complexities, nutty flavours and pronounced citrus finish which consistently characterise the wines produced from these vineyards.
In The Cellar
Once de-stemming, pressing and overnight settling have been completed, the juice is racked off from the sediment and moved into French oak barrels specially selected by Monsieur Christian Radoux. For this wine we use first fill barrels as well as second fill barrels. The selected French oak enhances the nutty and citrus fruit flavours emanating from the vineyard's rich calcareous soil and high concentration of rock and clay, with the wood also unleashing a plush elegance into the wine.
After barrel-fermentation, the wine remains on the lees under controlled temperatures. Weekly stirring (boutonnage) of the lees ensures maximum flavours are released into the wine. After some months the wines are racked off the lees and returned to the barrels for the completion of barrel-maturation, with bottling commencing once the wine meets exacting quality requirements of the winemaking team.
Barrel Maturation: 12 months