Merlot Petit Verdot Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Style & Tasting:

Merlot (42%) is the backbone of this wine and together with petit verdot (35%) and cabernet sauvignon (23%), forms a rather pleasurable trio of this Bordeaux style blend. The rendition of these classic varieties is refreshingly different from other similar Cape offerings in that the natural grape tannins (from which wine makers so easily run from in an effort to make easy drinking wines) combine well with the dark black fruit flavours of merlot and cabernet sauvignon on the one hand and the red berry flavours and persistent acidity of the petit verdot.

Vineyards

The vineyards on the farm were planted in 2002 and are trellised and irrigated. The merlot and petit verdot vineyards are next to each other, facing east. Two cabernet sauvignon vineyards curve over a hill with the second block turning slightly west. The soil is made up of shale and clay components. Yields are naturally low between 4 and 5 tonnes per hectare.

Making:

The grapes were picked by hand at between 23.5 and 25 ° Balling into small crates. In the cellar, the whole clusters were crushed slightly through a peristaltic mash pump into one ton plastic fermenters. Spontaneous fermentation was allowed with no additions. During fermentation morning punch-downs were done by eager legs. After fermentation, the tanks were sealed while the wine was macerated for about three weeks thereafter.

Maturation:

The wine will be at best two years after vinification, but ready to enjoy now.

Merlot Petit Verdot Cabernet Sauvignon

Arcangeli Syrah Mourvedre 2016

Style & Tasting:

Unmistakably made in a Southern Rhône style, the syrah (72%) in this wine provides structure and brooding dark fruit flavours, while the mourvedre bring to the palate the joyous and bright red lollipop aromas.

Vineyards

Three blocks of vineyards on the farm – all of it growing for the last 15 years - on east facing slopes with shale and clay soils, supplied the grapes for this wine, two syrah vineyards and a single mourvedre block. The vines are trellised and irrigated but yields are naturally low between 4 and 5 tonnes per hectare.

Making:

The grapes were picked by hand (at between 22.5 and 23.5 ° Balling) into small crates. In the cellar, the whole clusters were crushed slightly through a peristaltic mash pump into one ton plastic fermenters. Spontaneous fermentation was allowed with no additions. During fermentation punch-downs were done by eager legs in the morning. After fermentation, the tanks were sealed while the wine was macerated for about three weeks thereafter.

Maturation:

The wine will be at best two years after vinification, but ready to enjoy now.

Arcangeli Syrah-Mourvedre 2016

Arcangeli Romulus Nebbiolo 2016

Why Nebbiolo? Sandro Arcangeli as head of the family is a first generation Italian, hence the desire to make at least one wine with an Italian heritage. Sandro’s family hails from Rome and thus the name Romulus, who is regarded as the father of the Italian capital city. Of course, it was hard to source the vineyard given that there is in total of maybe no more than 30 hectares of this grape planted in South Africa.

Style & Tasting:

The wine was made from a 10 year old vineyard in the loam and sandy soils of Rawsonville into a softer and more feminine style akin to Barbaresco. The latter is mentioned purely to indicate style, as this wine is a Cape expression of nebbiolo and not an attempt to chase Barbaresco or Barolo. The tannins at this tender age are already silky with firm acidity and brimming with rose petal, stewed apricots, frangipane and subtle liquorice. The body is medium to light as it befits a luminous and elegant style wine, yet it has a firm and pronounced finish.

Vineyards

Planted in the rich loam and sandy soils of the Breede River valley, the vineyards yield eight tonnes per hectare from its trellised and irrigated vines.

Making:

The grapes were picked deliberately early at 23.5 ° Balling into small crates. In the cellar, the whole clusters were crushed slightly through a peristaltic mash pump into four used 500 litre barrels (with open tops). Spontaneous fermentation was allowed with no additions. During fermentation morning punch-downs were done by eager legs. After fermentation the barrel heads were sealed while the wine was macerated for about three weeks thereafter.

Maturation:

At best to start drinking after two years of vinification and should last 10 years.

Arcangeli Romulus Nebbiolo 2016

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