Since I had to mark Epileptic Inspiration 2014, as well as Col. Mulscal Roos 2013 – SOLD OUT yesterday, I’ve decided to release another new wine today. Alas! This will not be the last new release for the year. Depending on label printing you can expect to hear from me aplenty in the next 4 weeks!
See below for the story of “Sigh of Relief 2014”:
October 2012, a very well-known viticulturist and winemaker was walking through his little Merlot vineyard on the upper high slopes of the Helderberg (past Cordoba farm, to the very end of the road…), when he noticed something very strange. Halfway to the top of the vineyard, at a specific point, the growth points of the vine-shoots, in the morning sunlight, showed an abrupt change in colour – from green to bronze. And there’s only one varietal that does that. And it’s NOT Merlot…
Now on paper and according to the government, the previous owner had planted that whole block as Merlot and had been making wine from it for 13 years. Cabernet Franc, however, has this unique characteristic of showing bronze growth points (in the morning sun) only a few days of the year while the shoots are more or less 5 – 8 cm long. And it just happened to be on one of those mornings that the winemaker went for his morning walkabouts in his vineyard… So it turned out that the top part of the vineyard is in fact Cabernet Franc, NOT Merlot! The only explanation for this is that there must have been a mix-up when the little vines were distributed from the nursery.
Now, as we all know, Merlot is readily available whereas Cabernet Franc is far more exotic, funky and hard to find, especially on such super terroir! So, I can just imagine the disgust of that unique piece of Cabernet Franc each time someone referred to him/her as Merlot! And at the same time the pure emotional “Sigh of Relief” the vineyard gave when, on that specific day, someone finally discovered its true roots!
As a result of this discovery, that farmer, at that point in time, had no need for Cabernet Franc and I, on the other hand, was as always open for a great story. So the wine: mainly Stellenbosch Cabernet Franc, with a bit of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.