The advantage of making wine on a small scale is that I can make the style of wine I like to drink and still be able to find consumers with the same palette ~ Johan Grimbeek

Shiraz (Syrah) is a variety suited to our warm climate and with  abundant regions to source the grapes from. South Africa has long been punted by respected international wine writers and judges as a country where world class Shiraz and Shiraz based blends can be made.

As for Chenin Blanc the reasons are many, but what appeals the most to me is its versatility in making such a varied style of wines, its ability to be paired with a broad spectrum of dishes and the wine’s longevity, to be able to age gracefully in the bottle and still retain freshness. For me it is the king of white grapes, and I source the fruit from old bush vines that thankfully still dots the Cape winelands. Fruit from these well aged vineyards deliver concentration, depth, its own perspective and certainly presence.

We try to make the wine so that it tells its own story and although it is fermented and aged in seasoned oak barrels, it must be the fruit that shines through with the oak tannins only adding some complexity. We try to work as naturally as possible, meaning natural fermentation, no enzymes and only a small amount of sulphur just prior to bottling. 2016 is also the year in which we made our first white blend, Chenin Blanc based and will be launched later.

Aeternitas Blanc

 

In the Vineyard

The grapes grown on this property in AprilsKloof, Swartland are all from dryland, low yielding bush vines, receiving meticulous care during the growing season. The end result is healthy fruit, requiring minimal handling in the cellar. The grapes used for the Chenin Blanc comes from bush vines in excess of 45 years old. The grapes were picked in lug boxes, cooled down overnight and processed the following day.

 

In the Cellar

Bunch sorted, destemmed and underwent light pressing cycle, in essence free run juice. Juice settled overnight, racked off lees and went directly into barrel, 2% lees added. No new wood, only seasoned French and Hungarian barrels. Natural fermentation, no Malolactic Fermentation, wine sulphered and left on primary lees. Barrels rolled weekly for lees contact. 10 Months maturation before blending and bottling. Possibility of tartrates (crystals) when chilled.

 

In the Glass

Purity of fruit with alternating layers of summer fruit, preserved kumquat and citrus peel. Tempered oak from seasoned barrels, a fresh line of acidity and waxy minerality compliments the mid palate, giving the wine a lovely balance. The finish is long and dry with a spicy twist.

Aeternitas Syrah

 

In the Vineyard

Grapes sourced from single vineyard on the slopes of Stellenbosch Mountain. Although same vineyard, three different clones used. Grapes hand picked and primary sorting done by hand. Grapes left in cold storage before sorting begins.

 

In the Cellar

Judicious sorting by hand results in only the healthy grapes going into the tanks. Natural/wild fermentation starts after 48 hours, and is carefully monitored. The wine was left on skins for 30 days following alcoholic fermentation. This is done to achieve maximum extraction and colour stabilization. Gentle pressing in a traditional basket press, and wine was racked into barrel where malolactic fermentation took place over a period of a month.  Thereafter wine was racked once off it’s heavy lees, barrels washed and the wine racked back to barrels for maturation.    17 Months in French Oak barrels of which 43% was new oak.

 

In the Glass

Good, intense colour.Nose relatively shy at first, but opens up in the glass. Notes of cinnamon, combined with black fruit. Delicate savoury notes with underlying vanillins. Quite sharp on the palate, but mellows out with rich black fruit, hints of pepperiness. Good integration of wood tannins. Long, dry finish.

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