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Richard Kershaw Wines • Elgin

Richard Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay 2017

Richard Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay 2017

CLONAL Selection

100% Chardonnay made from Dijon clones CY96, CY95, CY76 and the Entav clone CY548.

Restrained, mineral style focussed on elegance with a white fruit character, some oatmeal and some complexity gained from percipient applied wood.

TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION:19.7 tons selected from 9 small parcels of Chardonnay.

HISTORY:In 2012, owner Richard Kershaw MW, established Richard Kershaw Wines to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wine paradigms from apposite noble grapes i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples. SA’s coolest wine district, Elgin Valley, reflected these principles benefitting from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, enabling the germane grapes, Chardonnay, Syrah and more recently Pinot Noir, to show a sense of place.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 22nd February – 13th March 2017 Brix at Harvest: 21.60 - 24.

20SEASON: Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in late February through to mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decentnatural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intensefruit flavours.

WINEMAKING:Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings,placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directlyto barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.

BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 38% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, both 228 and 500 litres in size, with 10% left to ferment and mature in breathable eggs.

ALCOHOL:13.50% For more information see extended technical sheet available on www.richardkershawwines.co.za

TOTAL PRODUCTION:15300 750ml bottles and 70 magnums.

Richard Kershaw Elgin Pinot Noir 2017

Richard Kershaw Elgin Pinot Noir 2017

CLONAL Selection

100% Pinot Noir made from French clones PN777, PN667, PN115, PN114 and PN113.

Captivating floral attributes underscored by purity, focus and freshness framed by fine powder tannins yet cushioned by a succulent texture and flavours of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry.

TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 6.87 tons selected from 6 tiny parcels of Pinot Noir.

HISTORY: In 2012, owner Richard Kershaw MW, established Richard Kershaw Wines to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wine paradigms from apposite noble grapes i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples. SA’s coolest wine district, Elgin Valley, reflected these principles benefitting from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, enabling the germane grapes, Chardonnay, Syrah and more recently Pinot Noir, to show a sense of place.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 14th – 24th February 2017
Brix at Harvest: 22.60 – 24.90

SEASON: Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in the second half of February. Importantly, night time temperatures were cooler than usual enabling
better colour and flavour formation; retention of acidity; steady phenolic ripeness. The net result is wines with fabulous natural acidity, pure and penetrating fruit flavours and fine powdery tannins.

WINEMAKING: The grapes were handpicked into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into small 500kg open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 10-16 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulphuring after which the wine was racked off Malolactic lees and returned to cleaned barrels for an 11-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and filtered prior to bottling.

BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 12% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels of 228, 300 and 500 litres.

ALCOHOL: 13.50% For more information see extended technical sheet available on www.richardkershawwines.co.za

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 5850 bottles were produced, each individually marked on the label.

Richard Kershaw Elgin Syrah 2016

Richard Kershaw Elgin Syrah 2016

CLONAL Selection

100% Syrah made up of clones SH9c, SH22 & SH99.

Subtle, precise style built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness with flavours of black skinned fruit, iodine and ground white peppercorns.

TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 10.4 tons selected from 5 small parcels of Syrah.

HISTORY: In 2012, owner Richard Kershaw MW established Richard Kershaw Wines to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wine paradigms from apposite noble grapes i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples. SA’s coolest wine district, Elgin Valley, reflected these principles benefitting from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, enabling the germane grapes, Chardonnay and Syrah and more recently Pinot Noir, to show a sense of place.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 17th – 23rd March 2016
Harvest Brix: 21.8 – 23.5

SEASON: In 2016, the preceding winter was fairly dry but cold units were exceptional (1200) with plenty of frosty mornings, allowing the vines to go into a proper dormancy. Rain did finally fall in August and September but as October began, the effect of the El Niño phenomenon (or ENSO episode) started to take effect. October was unusually warm accelerating budbreak and flowering. The fluctuating warm and cool days meant flowering was uneven, giving rise to smaller potential bunch sizes. After a cooler November, December was warm, sunny and dry enabling potential diseases to be kept at bay. A hot and dry January, meant acidity retention by the vine was challenging but after a warm start to February, the weather finally became cooler - and night time temperatures also dipped more so than average - providing the vine with some respite after a particularly torrid summer. The drier conditions meant that disease pressure was minimal, and a healthy crop was picked between the middle and end of March. The thicker skins held plenty of anthocyanins but meant it was crucial to avoid over extraction. Thus, gentler punch-downs were employed, and post fermentation
maceration was shorter with the press fraction matured separately from the free run juice. This resulted in deeper colours with supple, pliant tannins; although acidities were softer than average, fruit concentration was high, and the wines have a lifted black fruit flavour profile.

WINEMAKING: The grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed.
The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper
and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 17-21 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulphuring and 17-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected from Burgundy and Rhone, with only French oak chosen. 46% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels of which 11 were 500L puncheons and the remainder 228L pièces.

ALCOHOL: 14.00%. For more information see extended technical sheet available on www.richardkershawwines.co.za

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 9300 bottles all individually marked on the label.

Richard Kershaw Klein River Syrah 2016

Richard Kershaw Klein River Syrah 2016

GPS Selection

100% Syrah made from clone SH1.

Restrained, yet with intent and subtle power, these vineyards exhibit high levels of rotundone producing piercing black pepper, powdery tannins complete with rich textures
and prodigious breadth of black-orientated fruit.

The 2016 vintage shows a mid-ruby colour, a nose heady with aromas of black pepper, cinnamon stick, star anise and black cherry panna cotta. Succulent in texture, this medium bodied Syrah is voluminous with a core of juicy Morello cherries, liquorice and molasses complexed with gorse bush, baked plums, bay leaf and Angostura Bitters underpinned with fine grippy tannins and a long lush finish.

TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 1.5 tons from a single vineyard block of Syrah.

OVERVIEW: During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look. Almost 20 years ago, the 1st Syrah vines were planted in what is now one of the smallest wine wards in South Africa, Klein River. Traditionally used for sheep and wheat, 3 ha of virgin shale-derived Glenrosa soil was set aside for Syrah. These soils are normally the hallmark of warmer areas, but these vines nestle up against the Klein River Mountain range. The nearby Akkedis Valley provides a portal through which the cool sea breezes from the nearby Walker Bay penetrate, creating a mild meso-climate in summer. Wines made from these vines have consistently won acclaim and awards so I did not think twice when the opportunity to make wine from these 20-year-old vines came my way. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 10th March 2016 Brix at Harvest: 25.1

SEASON: In 2016, the preceding winter was fairly dry but cold units were exceptional (1200) with plenty of frosty mornings, allowing the vines to go into proper dormancy. Rain did finally fall in August and September but as October began, the effect of the El Niño phenomenon (or ENSO episode) started to take effect. October was unusually warm accelerating budbreak and flowering. The fluctuating warm and cool days meant flowering was uneven, giving rise to smaller potential bunch sizes. After a cooler November, December was warm, sunny and dry enabling diseases to be kept at bay. A hot and dry January meant acidity retention by the vine was challenging but after a warm start to February, the weather finally became cooler and night time temperatures also dipped, more so than average, providing the vine with some respite after a particularly torrid summer. The drier conditions meant that disease pressure was minimal, and a healthy crop was picked in the middle of March. The thicker skins held plenty of anthocyanins but meant it was crucial to avoid over extraction. Thus, gentler punch-downs were employed, and post fermentation maceration was shorter. This resulted in deeper colours with supple, pliant tannins; although acidities were softer than average, fruit concentration was high, and the wines have a lifted black fruit flavour profile.

WINEMAKING: Grapes were handpicked under autumnal skies into small lug baskets and then manually sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed. The destemmed berries fell onto a vibrating table in order to remove jacks and substandard berries before dropping uncrushed into a small 500kg conical hopper and forklifted into open-topped fermenters. The grapes underwent a 3-day maceration before spontaneous fermentation began. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 19 days. The wine was then racked to barrel under gravity and the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded in barrel followed by a light sulphuring and 16-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and bottled unfiltered.

BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 43% of the oak was new with the remainder split into 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, 228 litres in size.

ALCOHOL: 14.21%

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 1200 bottles were produced, each individually marked on the label.

Richard Kershaw Lower Duivenhoks River Chardonnay 2017

Richard Kershaw Lower Duivenhoks River Chardonnay 2017

GPS Selection

Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties.

This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.

TOTAL VINEYARD PRODUCTION: 3.46 tons from a single vineyard block of Chardonnay.

OVERVIEW: During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look. In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils – a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 16th February 2017 Brix at Harvest: 21.4

SEASON: Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in mid-February. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense fruit flavours.

WINEMAKING: Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.

BARREL SELECTION: A small number of artisanal coopers were selected, all from Burgundy and only French oak was chosen. 40% of the oak was new with the remainder
split into 2nd fill barrels, 228 litres in size.

ALCOHOL: 13.07%

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 2700 bottles were produced, each individually marked on the label.

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot Chardonnay 2016

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot Chardonnay 2016

Smuggler's Boot Selection

VARIETAL INFORMATION: 100% Chardonnay made from French clones CY95, CY96, CY76 & CY548.

An innovative range that pays tribute to the ingenuity of winemakers past and present.

Peach blossom, orange peel, struck flint and a hint of vanilla on the nose.

A gorgeous mineral-led approach is followed by nectarine flesh, dried apricot and white peach underscored by a fresh, lively acidity, more linear frame and complexity from oatmeal, peat whisky and green apple skins. Fabulous length of flavour and depth of fruit intensity is further enhanced with a rich texture and spicy oak nuances.

WINE OF ORIGIN: Western Cape, South Africa

HISTORY: In 2014, The Smuggler’s Boot wines were first released. The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 21st February – 13th March 2017
Brix at Harvest: 21.60 – 24.20

SEASON: A cool winter in 2017 enabled good vine dormancy but the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that, despite a lower yield, had good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest, an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage and root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in February and through to early March. The net result is the wines achieved steady phenolic ripeness, have respectable natural acidity and the drier year has given plenty of intense fruit flavours.

WINEMAKING: The grapes were handpicked and then whole-bunch pressed. Half of the juice was gravity-flowed directly to French oak barrels (20% new) without settling whilst the other half was placed into breathable plastic eggs. The unclarified juice has neither enzymes nor yeast added. 70% of the juice underwent a natural fermentation until dry whilst the rest used an innovative wild 'cultured' yeast strain Saccromyces Paradoxis. On all batches malolactic fermentation was discouraged by a light sulphuring post fermentation. The wine then matured in the vessels – in 2017 the Smuggler’s Boot Chardonnay spent an average of 8 months on its fermentation lees which were periodically stirred to enable yeast autolysis - that creamy, oatmeal mouthfeel component.The batches were then individually tasted and blended together with a light
fining and bottled.

ALCOHOL: 13.50%

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 2400 bottles .

FOOD PAIRING: Richard’s personal pairing suggestions would be fish pie, pasta in a clam sauce or pan-seared scallops with a lemon cream. If you can get a fresh piece of tuna then tuna Carpaccio works well rather than seared tuna (which Richard thinks works better with Pinot Noir). A simple roasted free-range chicken stuffed with lemon wedges works a treat or pan-seared chicken breasts in a tarragon and light cream sauce (Richard likes to use crème fraîche as it is more tangy so the final sauce doesn’t feel too heavy – you can at a pinch also use sour cream but be careful as it curdles quite easily as its protein content is much higher). A roast loin of pork with garlic and ginger works surprisingly well and for the vegetarian-minded, pasta with a creamy wild mushroom sauce, pumpkin ravioli, or for the weekend, truffle risotto!

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot GSM Red Blend 2016

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot GSM Red Blend 2016

Smuggler's Boot Selection

An innovative range that pays tribute to the ingenuity of winemakers past and present.

Attractive bright aromas of raspberry coulis, cracked black pepper and intense blackcurrant pastilles meld with warm demerara sugar.

Fresh and juicy on the palate with a rich yet sandy texture, the wine slowly builds up in the mouth as the fine powdery tannins give a frame to the mid palate which will allow the wine to age over the next few years. Complex already with the fleshiness of the Grenache entwined with the meaty edge of the Mourvèdre that between them bring flavours of raspberries, molasses, tiffin and red velvet cake to make for a delicious wine that extends far on the finish.

HISTORY: In 2014, The Smuggler’s Boot wines were first released. The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 12th – 25th February 2016
Brix at Harvest: 23.25 – 25.27

SEASON: 2016 was notably affected by the weather phenomenon known as El Niño or ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Despite winter being fairly dry, it was at least cold with plenty of frosty mornings to allow the vines to go into a proper dormancy. Rain did finally fall in August and September but October, as the ENSO episode took effect, was unusually warm and windy resulting in uneven flowering. This gave rise to smaller berry sizes and with the dry weather, a healthy crop. Further, the hot January affected the ability of the vine to retain much acidity. As a result, the wines have a softer acidity, the fruit concentration is high and the wines have a good flavour profile.
WINEMAKING: When we put this wine together we were interested in sourcing fruit from areas that although warm get ‘coolish’ nights and in this way produce a wine that has fullness and structure but has that perfumed elegant overlay with some freshness of acidity. At the same time we looked at areas that are able to have a savoury nuance that adds intrigue. As such, we sourced grapes from the southern slopes in Wellington, the newer areas of Swartland and also a drop of Southern Stellenbosch. Once in the cellar the main issue was to capture these elements and not try any winemaking tricks. To this end, the wine is essentially unwooded and the softness is achieved through using breathable plastic eggs and any wood is much older so able to imbue complexity without spicy oak.

ALCOHOL: 14.00%

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 2400 bottles

FOOD PAIRING: Richard’s suggestions would include roast leg of lamb; braised lamb shanks with gremolata and polenta; Moroccan tagine; spicy stews or casseroles or even a mild lamb korma (not overly creamy though - personally he prefers Rogan Josh better); rosemary and peppercorn spiced lamb chops. Steak with mushroom sauce or chasseur or pepper sauce (all without cream) works a treat or some of those fabulous sausage dishes Cumberland-esque spicy ones; classic British toad-in-the-hole; Calf’s liver with Bacon, Caramelised onions and sherry; BBQ meats. For those with a decent butcher game birds like pheasant work well. On the cheese front Jarlsberg; Cacio di Bosco; Chèvre or a decent aged Gouda cheese (again not too soft). Even French Onion Soup is a winner.

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot Pinot Noir 2014

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot Pinot Noir 2014

Smuggler's Boot Selection

An innovative range that pays tribute to the ingenuity of winemakers past and present.

Attractive strawberry, savoury and star anise spice linger on the nose.

Juicy and sumptuous on the mid palate with breadth of flavour offset by a nimbleness of fresh acidity, friable tannins and sinuous mouthfeel, this Pinot unwraps to earthy, fennel, chocolate and a hint of incense to a long supple finish.

HISTORY: In 2014, The Smuggler’s Boot wines were first released. The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: 5th – 11h February 2015
Brix at Harvest: 22.68 – 23.84

SEASON: Copious rain during the early half of winter and respectable cold units meant the vines underwent decent winter dormancy. A wet yet warmer August resulted in earlier budbreak yet cold evenings kept mildew infections at bay. Cooler nights continued well into spring ensuring an even budbreak and more importantly across all bearers giving better spacing within the eventual canopy. Dry conditions into late spring enabled a perfect flowering and subsequent shoot growth. A dry and warm summer without excessive heatwaves meant that berry set was unhindered and véraison took place 15 days early. Healthy picture-perfect grapes were harvested 2 weeks early resulting in wonderfully intense colours, succulent textures and a core of rich fruit balanced by bright acidity. As a net result 2015 has been described as a superlative year.

WINEMAKING: Handpicked grapes were first bunch sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed and the destemmed berries sorted to remove jacks and substandard berries. After a 3-day maceration in 500kg open-topped fermenters, the uncrushed grapes began a spontaneous fermentation. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 10-16 days. The free-run wine was racked to a combination of 50% French oak barrels (10% new) and 50% breathable plastic eggs with the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded followed by a light sulphuring after which the wine was racked off Malolactic lees and returned to cleaned barrels for an 11-month maturation. No finings were necessary and the wine was simply racked and lightly filtered prior to bottling.

ALCOHOL: 13.5%

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 2400 bottles

FOOD PAIRING: Richard’s personal suggestions for dishes include charcuterie, its salt and fat being complemented by the delicate spicy notes and fruit; Pork loin with honey, pepper, and lemon-zest glaze; Carpaccio; duck cassoulet; oven-roasted monkfish with garlic mashed potatoes; seared tuna; wild mushroom risotto; a simple beet salad with some hazelnuts and ricotta cheese; a slice of Brie or Gorgonzola Dolce.

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017

Richard Kershaw Smuggler's Boot Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017

Smuggler's Boot Selection

An innovative range that pays tribute to the ingenuity of winemakers past and present.

Light lotus yellow green in colour, the nose has pristine aromas of elderflower, Meyer lemon and mandarin segments.

A clean, seamless palate with vibrant fruit definition balanced with a taut natural acidity, this linear structured wine unfurls to lime, rose and Forelle pear softened by a creamy texture and lingers long after the first sip. A classic white Bordeaux-style wine.

HISTORY: In 2014, The Smuggler’s Boot wines were first released. The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.

VINTAGE: Hand-Picking Dates: Sauvignon Blanc: 7th February to 9th March (Elgin) 24th February to 14th March (Elgin) Semillon: 21st February to 13th March 2017
Brix at Harvest: Sauvignon Blanc: 21 to 24.1 Semillon: 21.60 to 24.20

SEASON: A cool winter in 2017 enabled good vine dormancy but the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that, despite a lower yield, had good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an early harvest, an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage and root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in February and through to early March. The net result is the wines achieved steady phenolic ripeness, have respectable natural acidity and the drier year has given plenty of intense fruit flavours.

WINEMAKING: Grapes were hand picked into small lug baskets. The Sauvignon Blanc was whole bunch pressed using a light sparkling wine pressing cycle before going to tank for 2 days of cold settling. After racking off the clean juice a small amount of light fluffy lees was added back and the wine inoculated using a mix of yeasts. Meanwhile the Semillon grapes were destemmed and crushed before being gently pressed into a stainless steel tank. Natural fermentation started (with no yeasts added) and after 2 days the fermenting Semillon juice was racked into oak barrels, of which 2/3rds were new and the 1/3rd had only been used previously for 4 months. The Sauvignon Blanc was fermented cool, between 12-14ºC enabling a long, cool ferment so as to preserve all the delicate volatiles that exist in the must. The Semillon fermented between 15-20ºC to allow better oak integration and allow some of the norisoprenoids to release. A light sulphuring followed to stop malolactic and the lees was stirred using heavy dry ice blocks on the Sauvignon Blanc tanks and a batonnage rod for the Semillon. All together the wine stayed on its lees for around 4 months after which the batches were individually tasted and blended together with a light fining and bottled.

FOOD PAIRING: Its fresh, citrus profile and mineral texture makes it perfect with seafood dishes, fish and spring vegetables. Richard enjoys it with tuna sashimi with a delicate lime and ginger or Asian dipping sauce; Oysters (Walvis Bay here are fab); asparagus and peas in a pasta primavera work well or goats cheese, white asparagus and chorizo (lightly spiced) pizza. Aternatively, a ‘posh’ fie pie or poached salmon with peas and frothy hollandaise (not too heavy on the butter), Cod and chips, or beer battered haddock. For meat lovers, Gammon on the bone with broad beans in a parsley sauce. A light Thai green curry with pork or chicken (but go easy on the curry spice).

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