More aptly described as that tongue-sticking-to-your-palate taste, what you are in fact tasting, is TANNIN! But why is it so prominent in certain wines and others not?
I am no architect and even less of a builder, but to understand the intricacies of wine I like to think in pictures! I visualize tannin as the steel structure supporting a building. The fruit, wood, alcohol & colour are the walls and ceilings and the millions of small organic components, the interior decorating!

As a winemaker, my job is to build a wine (tough life!?!). I have to be the architect, planning and designing an architectural masterpiece that will bring the big boys to their knees. Besides this being a huge responsibility, it stimulates enormous amounts of creativity.
With no Steel structure in my building, it will have no backbone – wobbly and flabby with no room to add walls, ceiling, doors, fittings & interior decorating.

On the other hand, an oversized steel structure will expose cold, sharp steel bars all along the edges of my building, making it harsh, unapproachable & horrible to look at. In short – leaving a bitter taste in the mouth!

My ultimate goal is to have a tannin structure with exactly the right dimension to SUPPORT exactly the right amount of fruit, wood, alcohol etc. Tannin is found in grape skins and pips, and binds to the wood tannin, colour and various other components in the wine. I can determine how much tannin I want in my wine, by deciding how long I want to keep the fermenting juice mixed with the grape skins in the 3 week fermentation period after harvesting.

Bottom line: Yes, you want to taste tannin in your wine, but you want it to enhance the other flavours, not dominate it! Without TANNIN, I’m an architect with a wobbly building. On the other hand, with too much, you wouldn’t want to come near my creation.
In blending ABRINA, this was my main focus. With no rough edges, dominated by smooth woman-like curves & features, ABRINA worked her way into top listings, with only 1000 bottles left 5 weeks after her release. Her successor, the PHORTION cool climate Syrah 2005 is in the bottle and will be released within the next 2 weeks.

Enjoy the weekend & thanks for your ongoing support!

Pieter H Walser

PS: I almost forgot! The outcome of the the previous newsletter debate: The SCREWCAP TITANS won against the still popular NATURAL CORK TEAM. HOWEVER, what I found was that the guys who voted for screwcaps doesn’t mind the cork, but prefer the screwcap. BUT, the guys who prefer the cork, despise the screwcap! I will therefore be sticking to the natural cork for a while longer. Sorry, SCREWCAP TITANS! I’m sure your hour will come!

Telephone: +27 (0)82 872 8658

Please note

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