Survivor Pinotage Reserve 2017 (bottle)
This prime example of South Africa’s keynote cultivar reflects the free spirit and distinctive terroir of one of the most dynamic wine regions in the Southern Hemisphere: the Swartland. While the vines yielded grapes of great intensity and concentration, meticulous vinification and lengthy barrel maturation resulted in a complex Pinotage of stylish elegance. The many-faceted bouquet rewards with lush layers of ripe cherry, savoury black olive and luxurious dark chocolate against a background of subtle cedar. On the full-bodied, vibrant palate fresh plum and velvety prune are supported by wellintegrated, supple tannins to lend structure and add finesse to a lingering finish.
Grapes were sourced from low-yielding (6 – 8 t/ha) old vines (10 – 20 years old) located on DB Rust’s Swartland farm, Constantia. The soils are deep red Oakleaf and Hutton ensuring excellent waterretention and adding structure and fullness to the wines. The vines have been planted in such a way to benefit optimally from the cool Benguela current sea breezes. These breezes cause summer temperatures to range between 20 – 30°C.
Harvesting occurred at optimal ripeness when the grapes were between 25 – 26° Balling. Picking was done in the early morning hours to ensure the grapes arrived cool at the cellar. Dry ice and sulphur were used to protect the grapes from oxidation during transportation. Cold soaking was done for 24 hours before inoculation. Grapes remained on the skins for 24 hours to allow for colour extraction. Fermentation lasted between 4 and 6 days at 22 – 25°C. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in 300L medium toasted Vicard and Taransaud barrels, 20% of which was new and the rest second and third fill. Only The best barrels was selected for the reserve range. The barrels comprised 100% French oak adding more texture to the wine. Barrel maturation lasted for 18 months whereby the wine was racked only once.
The average 2017 harvest temperature was low with exceptionally cold weather conditions. The vineyards generally showed good and balanced growth without being excessive or too vigorous. In most cases the water supply was sufficient for ripening while the ripening period was cooler and dryer than usual. The grapes reached good acidity and lower pH levels and managed to accumulate sufficient sugar levels. The season was characterised by healthy, full-avoured grapes.
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