Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition article, Celebrating Sauvignon, picking out a global Top Twelve of Sauvignon(s) Blancs.
Founded by Paul Boutinot in 2004, Waterkloof is a family-owned, organic, biodynamic and WWF Biodiversity Champion farm perched high up on the windswept Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay and The Atlantic Ocean. Living soils, naturally low yields and a long growing season help provide talented young Cellarmaster Nadia Barnard with naturally balanced grapes that are imbued with a truly defining sense of origin. Those grapes are then transformed into wine with a minimum of intervention. The resulting wines are fine, inimitable and best enjoyed with food.
Living soils and a natural approach to winemaking means that each of the single-varietal wines in the Circumstance range is truly defined by the circumstances influencing the chosen varietal and vineyard blocks, including: soil, aspect, altitude and vintage. These factors combine to produce low yields, balanced grapes and wines with a true sense of place. The Sauvignon Blanc is from three windswept, south-facing (less sun exposure) blocks 270-300m above and a mere 2 miles from The Atlantic. The vines are 20 years old and production was a miserly 4 tons per hectare. Waterkloof follow a traditional, minimalistic approach in their gravitational cellar which means interfering as little as possible with the winemaking process. This allows the flavours prevalent in that specific vineyard to ultimately express themselves in the wine.
To achieve this goal, all grapes are whole-bunch pressed, which ensures that juice is extracted in the gentlest way. The juice is then settled naturally for 24 hours. Naturally present wild yeast is employed to ferment the juice, mainly in old 600litre barrels (90%). This leads to a longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. The natural fermentation process took 7-8 months to complete, after which the wine was left on the gross less for another 6 months. There are no added 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.
See also the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
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.
Fritz Wieninger is considered a pioneer of the “New Vienna” wine movement, combining a sense of modernity and progress with the traditions of the region and of his family, who have been making wine for over 100 years. “I try to use the numerous facets of my grape material,” Fritz says. “To be able to show the differences in site and vintage and to get the character of the vineyard into the bottle – this is my greatest challenge.”
The grapes for the Wiener Gemischter Satz - Nussberg 2017 were grown in the Ulm vineyard, which lies on a very steep southern slope on the eastern part of the Nussberg next to the Danube river. The vineyards are certified Organic and Biodynamic since 2011. The soil is calcareous shell limestone with small amounts of clay underneath. This area of the Nussberg region is understood to be a remnant of a coral reef from the Tertiary period.
The 2017 vintage began with a cold winter, however, very warm conditions in the months up to mid March resulted in early bud break. Conditions were cooler than average through April and early May, but fortunately the vines didn’t suffer too much from the frosty nights, and the warm and dry summer months that followed kept the grapes healthy. This was the third hottest summer since records began, prompting harvesting to commence earlier than usual at the beginning of September, in order to preserve acidity and freshness in the grapes.
This wine is a field blend of nine organically and biodynamically grown varieties including Neuburger, Welschriesling and Grüner Veltliner. The grapes were hand picked, processed together and macerated for four hours prior to being gently pressed. Fermentation took place in a mix of 75% stainless-steel tanks and 25% large old oak barrels, before being matured on the fine lees for 10 months prior to blending and bottling.
The wine has complex aromas of citrus fruit, pineapple, yellow blossom and sweet herbs. Lively acidity is evident on the elegant palate which has a touch of minerality alongside subtle notes of spice.