2018 | Swartland
[2019: 5 Stars Platter Guide 2022 edition]
Earlier picking means lower alcohol and bright, fresh expression of the fruit. The nose shows complexity through interesting spice and fynbos aromas and a prominent dark fruit note. On the palate, the wine delights with generous concentration and refined, smooth texture.
In the Vineyard
Since 2003, we’ve been working with old bush vines in the Swartland that produce this distinctive blend. 2018 was an exceptional vintage, despite a smaller harvest and the third challenging dry season in a row. We harvest early to preserve balance and capture the bright, natural acidity with which these varieties ripen. Drought has been a fact of life in the Swartland over the past few years, but these old vines have never been irrigated and have therefore adapted their root structures to plunge many metres deep into the granite subsoil. If there is moisture to be found, these vines will find it. Smaller crops are a direct result of the drought and a subsequent shift in the varietal make-up has meant that only Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre were incorporated in this vintage of Black Rock.
In the Cellar
As is our custom, only hand harvesting was employed to bring the grapes from the vineyards to our cellar and from there, bunch sorting was carried out by hand. Grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed and moved to fermentation vats. A key feature of our process with this wine is that all varieties are co-fermented instead of fermenting separately and then blending. This allows for a much more harmonious and seamless blend. From here the wine was drawn off and skins lightly pressed. Barrel maturation lasted 18 months with most of the barrels ranging from 2nd to 6th fill. The wine matured on its primary lees for the duration of its time in barrel in order to build the complexity of the palate while practically eliminating the need for sulphur additions. As with all our red wines, this was not fined or filtered prior to bottling.
VARIETIES - 58% Syrah, 16% Carignan, 15% Cinsault, 11% Mourvèdre
APPELLATION - Swartland, South Africa
Total acidity 6.4 g/l
Residual sugar 2.1 g/l
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