Baby Bandito is a project we started in 2015. We wanted to work with vineyards that deliver wines that can be drunk young yet still “over deliver” in quality one would expect from our most affordable wine. There was a heavy influence from street artists (the good ones, not just your drunk student defacing someone’s wall, unless it was good) in the labels and the idea of a “series” using different and bright colours. The names of the wines come from expressions that we use as if giving encouragement to a child. Stay Brave is our “Baby” skin contact Chenin.
NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA
NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig & Carla Hawkins
CELLAR LOCATION: Bandits kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg Swartland
TERROIR: Decomposed Granite, East facing, 220m above sea level
VITICULTURE: Planted in 1981, bush vine (un-trellised), farmed organically. This is a 1.5ha block we “discovered” which was abandoned in 2014, we approached the farmer Rick Mcgrindle and asked if we could try and revive it. The vineyard gives a very specific salty character to the wines, maybe not as intense as those from the heart of the Paardeberg but there is a definite salinity which we love. This may be because it is only 30km from the ocean or just the character that chenin gets on these soils.
GRAPE: 100% Chenin Blanc
Hand harvested and 100% Destemmed into open 1500L fermenters. Fermented on the skins for 8 days before being pressed off into a 3300L old oak Foudre and 1 x 1500L barrels. No yeast (or other) inoculation or additives apart from a small amount of SO2 shortly before bottling. Ambient fermentation (the juice/ wine is not cooled). 100% malolactic fermentation. A clarifying filtration was done, not fined.