Gold Michelangelo International Wine Awards
The Cocoa Hill Chenin Blanc is a delectably chic version of what used to be South Africa's Cinderella variety. The vines grow in the decomposed red granite soils of Cocoa Hill – a hilltop in the folds of the Stellenbosch Mountain, supremely positioned in prime South African terroir.
Being a truly versatile variety and lending itself very well to many different styles, we have aimed at making a fresh and primary fruit driven approach. Flavours of white peach, pear and golden delicious apples dominate the nose. The palate is vibrant with a soft acidity, leaving one with a concentrated aftertaste.
2013 will go down as being perhaps not the easiest vintage recorded in the Blaauwklippen valley. We had extensive wind damage at the end of November, which resulted in our crop being down by 30%. On top of this, we had bouts of rain weekly through the entire months of February and March. This made picking decisions tough, and it was truly a year where the winemaking had to be precise and the handling of the fruit and wine needed to be gentle. Luckily with the reduced crop, we had excellent concentration in our fruit which lead to very full wines.
Fermentation and Ageing:
Comprising of 100% Chenin blanc from the Stellenbosch region, sourced from many different microclimate areas in order to obtain various characteristics and flavour profiles. Each batch received a light press as to only extract the highest quality juice after which they were individually fermented at cold temperatures (14°C) in stainless steel tanks for approximately 10 days. Flavour and style specific yeast were selected as to obtain the desired fruit and aroma characteristics. Post fermentation, they remained on the full lees with battonage (lees stirring) performed weekly for a further two months thereby gaining the very beneficial characteristics of fullness and texture into the wine.
Being a fresh wine with vibrant fruit it will pair well with fresh garden and chicken salads, lighter pasta dishes and grilled seafood, such as line fish and will certainly accompany calamari and scallops well.