Cat’s Cradle 2021
Swartland Chenin blanc needs no introduction, having long assumed its place among the world’s key expressions of the grape variety. Langkloof, where we source our grapes for this wine, is an old bush vine Chenin blanc vineyard planted on the granite slopes of the Paardeberg that belongs to the Roussouw family.
An enormous amount of work goes into the vineyard during the growing season to ensure that the vineyard can carry a healthy and balanced crop. Picking is done with a clear eye on the acidity of the crop which can fall away dramatically during the harvest due to the paucity of these granite based soils.
The wine shows aromas of lemon balm, apple blossom, exotic waxes and honey. A textured palate is lifted by bright acidity and a wet stone freshness with a long finish.
Nuts & Bolts
Chenin blanc – Swartland – 41 year old vineyard on decomposed granite
Residual sugar – 2.00 g/L
Total acidity – 7.0 g/L
About The Wine
The 2020/2021 growing season was particularly cool and we had the benefit of some rain during the winter. Although it was a big relief after 5 years of drought, overall rainfalls were still below average. Cool conditions during flowering meant that our yields were not very high, but the long cool growing season allowed us to pick our Chenin blanc at good ripeness levels without fear of the dreaded heatwaves that we are normally plagued with in January and February.
The Cat’s Cradle vineyard continues to deliver wines that have wonderful energy and focus derived from the poor granitic soils on which it is planted. The 2021 wine has a laser-line of acidity running through it, all outlined by clean citrus flavours, pithy texture and wonderful length.
We’ve kept our winemaking simple and natural, as we have no desire to stand between the vineyard and its expression as a wine in the glass. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed in an old basket press and there are no additions of sulphur dioxide made on the juice. A rough settling follows pressing after which the wines undergo natural alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in old oak barrels. We add some sulphur dioxide late in the winter, and then again at bottling, keeping the level of sulphur dioxide as low as possible. The result is wines that show tension without losing their suppleness and core, and wines that will reward time in the cellar.c