Cape of Good Hope Altima Sauvignon Blanc 2015:
THE VINEYARD: Altima is situated in Elandskloof, an isolated valley north of Villiersdorp. This valley is 5km wide and is surrounded by a steep mountain range that rises 1km from the valley floor. The steep topography causes the valley to receive less direct sunlight due to the overshadowing mountains. This, together with the elevation of 600 to 800m above sea level, equates to a very cool climate for the valley. There are only four farms in this valley, of which Altima is the only developed vineyard farm. This unique terroir produces wines with a high natural acidity and upfront aromas. Grapes are harvested much later than other sites, with harvesting usually starting mid-March. The vineyards produce an intense Sauvignon blanc with a fresh expression of gooseberry, citrus and freshly cut grass.
VINTAGE NOTES: Typical conditions between March and November with average rainfall. A cold winter period with the usual snow covered mountain tops. Much lower rainfall from November through to March caused the vines to stop vegetative growth at the end of December. High natural acids and concentrated fruit flavours define this high quality, early vintage. A warm January and cool February resulted in early, but even ripening and development.
WINEMAKING: Three different parcels were picked at intervals, each contributing a range of flavours from grassy, green peppers to passion fruit, melon and gooseberries. Grapes were hand-picked in small lug-boxes in the early morning and transported to the cellar in refrigerated trucks. All the fruit was de-stemmed and crushed before an overnight period of skin contact allowed for the maximum extraction of flavour. Each parcel’s free run juice was settled and fermented separately in stainless steel tanks with selected cultured yeast strains. The wine was carefully blended and allowed to spend time in contact with the lees before being bottled.
TASTING NOTES: A gentle, nuanced nose of fig leaf and granadilla with a light brush of citrus, grass and flint. _e palate is rounded, expressive and gentle rather than typically tangy and acidic. There’s freshness and succulence in abundance but it’s soft and textured with lime leaf, lemon zest and white pepper.
AVERAGE TEMP: 15.3°C
HARVESTING BEGAN: 25/2/2015
HARVESTING ENDED: 3/3/2015
ORIGIN OF FRUIT: Elandskloof – Overberg
SOIL TYPE: Tukulu. Decomposed shale (grouwrakke)
YIELD: 8.4 ton/ha