JCB 2021100% Elgin Sauvignon blanc with 25% skin ferment. The Story
In February 2014, I was on a small grape farm on Valley Road, Elgin, picking the first ever Sauvignon blanc destined for a Sauvignon blanc blend. As background, 90% of the time I make all my wines, even the same varietals from different regions, separate. They are picked one vineyard at a time; pressed and fermented as separate batches. Then, after a year in barrel (just before bottling), I decide how blends will be made up (this is called blending).
On the other side of the spectrum, the complete opposite way of blending is to add the different grapes together in the vineyard. This very seldom happens, as it is very rare that all the grapes aimed for a specific wine ripens on the same day. This is called a field blend, and it is exactly what happened with this wine. I had Sauvignon and Sémillon grapes, aimed at the same blend, ripening on the exact same day. So I tasted the Sauvignon blanc and the Sémillon on the spot and decided I needed 25% Sémillon and the balance Sauvignon blanc. I picked it like that and loaded the bakkie and trailer. 2.5 tons, a very obvious overload…
Now I was on the one side of the river with my 2.5 tons (on my own) and needed to get to the other side to head out of the valley. So I decided to drive around the vineyard and head down a road I had never driven on before. Thats where I got stuck. Completely and utterly. My (not 4x4) bakkie was just not strong enough to get the 2.5 tons over the hill onto the bridge to cross the dry river bed. To top it all, at that point, I discovered I had no cellphone signal. So you can just imagine my state of mind. Having left home at 4am for the umpteenth time (75 days into harvest), I was deeply tired, and frustrated and just completely stuck. Not knowing what else to do, I walked through the river up the hill on the other side to get to the road that heads out the valley. Walking down the road looking for a signal, I passed a guy working next the road with a spade. He asked me where I was going. “I have a problem” I said. “Here in Grabouw we do not have problems” he replied. I pointed to my bakkie and the 2.5 ton overloaded trailer and replied: “That, there, is my problem… ". “That’s no problem, walk with me” he said. And 100m down the road he pointed to a yellow JCB digger loader standing at the side of the road and said: " that’s mine". So instead of crossing the river on the bridge, I just drove my bakkie with the heavy trailer into the dry river bed, into the sand and got properly stuck. He reversed down the hill with the JCB and chain-pulled the bakkie with the trailer and the grapes up the hill at a angle where the front part of “only a Toyota can do” lifted a foot into the air. So up the hill we went onto the big road. I was so grateful and just wanted to hand out cash to say thank you. But they noticed a case of wine on my back seat and said: “hier vat ons nie geld nie, maar ’n man raak mos maar dors so teen die pad”.Technical InformationCultivar: Sauvignon BlancVintage: 2021Region: Elgin
Amount of Bottles Produced: 495
Vineyard: Vines grow on a rocky outcrop in the cool climate Elgin valley. Vines trained according to the vertical shoot positioning method on a traditional 3 wire trellis system - 233 m above sea level on a SE facing slope.
Winemaking: The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness and cooled overnight to 4 degrees celsius. The next morning 75% of the grapes were pressed as whole bunches. The juice underwent spontaneous fermentation in old French oak. 25% of the grapes were destemmed and fermented in open top fermenters on the skins, pressed after 2 weeks to old French oak barrels. 10 months on the leese, blended and bottled.
Alcoholic Strenght: 13% / volAcidity: 7.8 g/lPH: 3.2Reducing Sugar: 1.3 g/lFree SO2: 25 ppmTotal SO2: 100 ppmVolatile Acidity: 0.72 g/lClosure: Natural corkVegan: YesVoice recordingHow to order
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