Another relatively new wine to the Radford Dale stable, and our third expression of Gamay Noir. It’s a variety we hold in high esteem and this bottling – in part - comes from the first plantings of Gamay in over 20 years & a site we have established on the Polkadraai hills. This site will also serve as the mother block for quality cuttings going forward, which we’ll use for a new vineyard at our organic Elgin farm. There are less than 10 hectares of Gamay currently planted in the Cape.
Deep purple, with a Violet rim. Aromatic mulberry and raspberry notes over a little hint of gunflint. Generous and juicy, the plate shows medium weight with ripe elderberry and soft tannin that draws into a rewardingly full finish.
We've received some wonderful reviews already (from the likes of Julia Harding MW, Jamie Goode and Christian Eedes) for the new Vinum range - see here.
In the Vineyard
The fruit for this wine comes from 2 vineyards, both south east facing and on the Polkadraai hills. The young parcel, our maiden harvest from our own vines plated in pure, crunchy granite soils. The second parcel was planted in 1999 in granitic soils and these grapes we pick a bit later for full fruited exuberance. Both these vineyards benefit greatly from the cooling South Easter sea breeze in the summer time. Gamay is extremely rare in South Africa and there are only a handful of vineyards in production, totaling less than 10 hectares.
In the Cellar
The grapes were harvested early morning and once at the cellar, manually sorted to ensure only the best bunches were used then destemmed, but not crushed. The berries were transferred to a 7000L oak fermenter for carbonic maceration, using wild yeast only. This technique lifts the fruit and creates intensity, while remaining fresh and sprightly. We employed very light extraction, with the focus on creating lithe, supple texture. This complements the expressive fruit profile, while retaining depth and persistence. After the whole berry fermentation finished, the pomace was pressed in our basket press after which the wine was transferred to 300L French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and maturation. Barrel maturation lasted 10 months and no new oak was used as we wanted the wine to exhibit its freshness while adding texture and complexity