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2019 – 4.5 Star’s Platter’s 2021
91pt Tim Atkin SA Report 2020
Philosophy: To express unique Steen climats & vintage, while crafting a fine wine which improves with time in bottle – to this end we as far as possible utilize gnarled old Steen vines, prefer extended ferments in old French oak & stainless-steel, matured sur lie (on the lees), bottle unfined & unfiltered.
Vineyard – A mild return to form, three climats produced fruit for this vintage. ’83 vines rooted in the decomposed schists with ironstone, flecks of quarts of the leeward side of Kasteelberg combine with gnarled ’72 Malmesbury vines rooted in the poor red ferricrete rich decomposed granites & prime ’72 Piketberg vines on decomposed Table Mountain sandstone. Each site is hand harvested at dawn over a tumultuous three days in late January. A concentrated vintage due to the preceding lean years characterised by small bunches, concentrated flavours at low sugar & as per usual picking on acid rather than sugar. Continual tasting in the vineyards & relying on the farmers knowledge of their vines were cardinal to success in this vintage. A vintage, much like the lauded ‘17s with more finesse ‘n grunt.
Vinification: All fruit is crushed directly into small pneumatic press & allowed a few hours skin contact prior to gentle pressing, thereafter the juice was settled overnight prior to racking with a fair share of fine lees. Each climat is fermented separately & only neutral yeasts are used – 70% of juice from each climat was taken to old 400L & 500L French oak for ferment, the remainder cold fermented in tank with. Post ferment, the barrel fermented portions were taken to 228L old French oak puncheons – the remainder combined with the Inox portions & matured for 9 months on fine lees prior to final blending with the barrel components. The final blend was kept in Inox for 4 months on its fine lees prior to bottling unfined & unfiltered, under DIAM to preserve the essence of the site, vintage & vines. Only yeast & small amounts of sulphur are utilized.
Wine: Elegant ‘n fulsome, with typical sun-kissed Swartland warmth – a touch of baking spice, Rooibos, peach pip, waxy pear, Cox apple, hay & slate/flinty notes with savoury ‘n brown spice undertones on the long finish. A perfect partner for roast fowl, fresh crustaceans & other denizens of the deep, firm fromage or enjoy as an aperitif. Serve lightly chilled & best decanted. Klipspringer most definitely benefitting careful cellaring, especially in this vintage as it allows the wine to slowly gain complexity, nuance & generosity.