Resonance is predominantly sourced from a single vineyard and grown in quartz and sandstone soil. We found only one site on the Newton Johnson property that we believed suitable to plant Sauvignon Blanc which could rival other vineyards that we had farmed before. These are usually found on the high slopes where the bedrock has eroded by gravitational force to form this type of soil. We farm this parcel organically, gaining experience for future integration in our approach to farming. Texture is of prime importance in our whites and Semillon, fermented in new oak barrels, provided us with a component that forms the broader framework of the blend. This is a wine where the winemakers get to play with Sauvignon Blanc, pushing the boundaries of the conventional style. Our intention is to produce a wine that is pure, looking past the fruit expression for complexity.
Steely and condensed character. Passion fruit, lemons and white flowers combine with soft spices and bitter grape skin. Powdery texture and the creaminess of Semillon provide some volume. Racy, mineral, with a dry finish.
ANALYSIS Alcohol by volume 12.56%
Total Acidity 6.8 g/l
Residual sugar 2.9 g/l
LOCATION & CLIMATE
The Sauvignon Blanc vineyard lies on the uppermost slopes at an altitude of 282m, in the porphyritic granite soils of the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. This appellation ranges from 4 to 8 km in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is cool and temperate, where parallel mountain ranges channel the southerly ocean-going winds through the appellation during the summer. These southerly winds in turn create regular sea mists and overcast conditions, moderating the temperatures in the valley. Weather data from 2011-2015 conveys an average of 2620 growing degree days on the Winkler Scale, placing it in Region II. Cooler vintages (such as ’13 & ’14) deviate into Region I. The annual rainfall is 910mm, with 50% falling in the winter months (May – August).
The Semillon was sourced from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge appellation, from the watershed of the Onrust River downwards and eastwards in to the Klein River Valley. The stony, clay-rich, Bokkeveld Shale-derived soils are the predominant type in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. The vineyards are planted with many different aspects from southerly to northerly, and the average altitudes of these vineyards are the highest of the three Hemel-en-Aarde Area wards.
APPELLATION Wine of Origin WALKER BAY
75% Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
25% Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge
BLENDED 75% Sauvignon Blanc
VARIETIES 25% Semillon
SOIL Sandstone and coarse fragments of quartz for the Sauvignon blanc portion and Bokkeveld shale derived soils for the Semillon portion.
ASPECT West facing. Slope of 11%. (Upper H&A)
South West facing slope (H&A Ridge)
TRELISSING 7-wire Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) with movable wires
AGE OF VINES 12-14 years
VINES PER Ha 3333
AVERAGE YIELD 6.2 – 7 tons/ha (42 – 45 hl/ha)
Growing Season & Harvesting
A proper Cape winter preceded the growing season with substantial rains starting in June, occurring regularly to the end of August. The vines budded early in middle August for the second year in a row, followed by steadily increasing temperature and high humidity in September. The conditions initiated some early infections of oidium and downy mildew in places, which remained a continual threat throughout the growing season. The real heat hit just before the new year and continued unabated until the first week of March, resulting in one of the warmest years on record. Unlike other parts of the Western Cape, water stress was not a major factor. The Sauvignon blanc was harvested first on 2 February, and the Semillon on 16 February 2016.
The grapes are packed in to large-surface area crates to limit crushing of the bunches. The day’s harvest is cooled down overnight to 8ºC in the winery’s refrigerated cold room. The bunches are hand-sorted on a conveyor, destemmed and crushed in to stainless steel tanks where, after a few hours, the juice is allowed to drain into lower tanks for settling. The juice is settled clear over a couple of days by cooling only (no enzyme) and racked for fermentation which is maintained at around 12ºC until the wine is dry (16 – 20 days). 25% of the blend includes Semillon that was fermented by indigenous yeasts and matured for 3 months in new oak barriques (228L barrels). Bâtonnage (lees stirring) is fortnightly applied to the wine during maturation.
PRODUCED 3011 x 750ml
DATE 10 November 2016