Wanderer’s Heart 2018
Cape Red Blend
In the middle of 2016 we commissioned a writer friend to write a series of short children’s stories about growing up in the Cape, and we used these stories as the inspiration for the names for our red wines.
The 2018 Wanderer’s Heart is our Cape Red – a wine that is built around the incredible vineyards found all over the Western Cape. Aromas of ripe purple figs, rosemary oil, and sandal wood. The wine is poised on the palate with soft, chalky tannins, which give way to a finish of red plums, juniper and cranberries. The wine is bright and keenly balanced, very pure in its fruit with a dusting of fine tanin to complete the picture.
Nuts & Bolts
Grenache noir – 34% Voor Paardeberg (6 years, clay soil), Paardeberg (13 years old, granite)
Cinsault – 26% Bottelary (46 years old, iron-rich red soils)
Grenache gris – 17% Wellington (4 years old, sandstone)
Mourvèdre – 13% Bot River (11 years old) – gravel/clay duplex soil
Syrah – 10% Bot River (11 years old) - shale
Residual sugar – 1.24 g/L
Total acidity – 5.39 g/L
About The Wine
Our travels in the Western Cape have brought us into contact with many fantastic grape growers, and we had long been developing our idea of a Cape Red, and seeking the vineyards that can deliver the kinds of wines we seek. Our blend was certain to include Cinsault for its long history in the Cape and ability to deliver light, yet profound wines. Grenache has a great future in the Cape, where it is able to produce high quality wines in dryland conditions, and for its ability to express its origins. Mourvèdre produces wild and idiosyncratic wines that lend a certain generosity and pleasure to the blend. Syrah, though widely planted in the Cape, speaks to me more as a supporting role, lending it’s cool fruit and perfume to the wine.
One area in which we do an enormous amount of work is in picking our grapes at the right time. We rent a truck during harvest so that we are able to pick our vineyards precisely when we need to. This is the area of our work into which all the blood, sweat and tears is poured. Once our picking is done right, we are able to simplify things immensely in the winery. Picking is done early to retain their freshness and clarity of expression of the vineyard, while not sacrificing the pleasure that ripe fruit brings to the wine.
As with all our wines, the winemaking is extremely simple. We put around 60% of the crop into the bottom of an open vat as whole bunches and then destem the rest on top of that. During fermentation we punch the cap down a couple of times a day to keep it wet. Once we are happy with the structure in the wine, it is pressed off in an old basket press.
The wines go through malolactic fermentation and around 9 months maturation in old oak barrels. We keep sulphur dioxide levels as low as possible and only make a small adjustment of the sulphur dioxide before bottling.