Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa with a recorded history dating back to 1692.
Today they have embraced many modern approaches and aim to minimise the impact of their activities on the environment. They are a Champion member of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, organically certified and Fair Trade accredited.
Wherever possible, Spier look for ways to support local industry and communities. They support local communities through the Treepreneur Project which encourages people in impoverished communities to grow trees in exchange for essential goods.
Grapes for the Signature Sauvignon Blanc are hand harvested from selected vineyard blocks and taken to the cellar where they are de-stemmed, slightly crushed and given a short skin contact before being pressed. Fermentation is temperature controlled in stainless steel vats followed by ageing on the fine lees for another three months to give extra body and elegance. This wine is not oaked.
Pale straw in colour with a greenish hue. Intense aromas of gooseberries, passion fruit, green and yellow peppers and hints of tropical fruit on the nose. Medium bodied good balance between fruit and acidity on the palate.
Fairview is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Paarl, which is more sheltered from the moderating maritime influence than nearby Stellenbosch. Vines were planted here as early as 1699. The property was bought by the grandfather of current owner, Charles Back, in 1937.
Fairview has a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties. The Fairview estate now has a total of 586 hectares of vineyard over four appellations: Paarl (350 hectares), Swartland (115 hectares), Darling (86 hectares) and Stellenbosch (35 hectares). This vineyard ownership in so many different regions allows Charles to produce a wide range of wines, from grapes grown in optimal conditions.
Grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were grown on unirrigated vineyards in Darling. The grapes were machine harvested from very early in the morning, arriving at the cellar before sunrise to be fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine was left on its fine lees after fermentation, prior to blending and bottling.
Pale lemon in the glass. Tropical notes of ripe melon on the nose. With a lively minerality and fresh acidity, the palate is filled with flavours of the tropics. The wine has a full, rich and textured mouthfeel with a fresh finish.
The grapes originate from two 29-year-old vineyards called The Long Block and The Spice Block respectively. Yields are low and produce wines with structure and concentration.
Grapes are picked only in the cool, early hours of the morning and then packed into a cold room to be chilled before processing the following day. The grapes are gently crushed and pressed speedily to tank. A cold fermentation takes place at 11°C to lock in freshness and promote an intense tropical fruit bouquet. After fermentation, the wine is kept on its lees for 7 months. This practice adds weight to the palate and promotes a creamier mouth feel.
Pale straw in appearance with a slight green edge, the nose is of citrus and fig, supported nicely by capsicum freshness. The aromas on the nose carry through beautifully to a firm but fruit driven palate with a mild acidic zing, some flintiness and a long lingering finish.
This wine is made from a single block and much of this wine is quite literally made in the vineyards.
The process begins by crimping the stems of the grapes. This crimping process stops the supply of water to the bunch, causing the berries to dessicate on the vine. Crimping is done before the grapes are fully ripe and still high in natural acidity. The crimping process therefore concentrates both the sugar and the acidity of the berries and is allowed to continue for one week only.
The grapes are then harvested and placed on beds of straw in wooden sheds. The straw helps disperse moisture and prevent rot. It is important that there is good ventilation during the drying phase. This raisining process takes approximately 10 days.
The grapes are destemmed and crushed, but because they are dry, almost no juice is released. In order to extract all the sugar and as much of the juice as possible, the wine is allowed to begin fermenting on the skins before being pressed. This pressed juice is sent directly to barrel to complete its fermentation.
Fermentation stops naturally when the combination of high acidity, increasing alcohol and concentrated sugar finally becomes too much for the yeast and they die. The wine is aged for one year in old French oak before it is bottled and matured before release.
Bright with a light amber colour, the nose shows soft peach aromas, fresh pineapple and ripe apricot. The palate is sweet but cut by tangy acidity.
“From these Elysian fields used to come one of the very greatest wines in the world – the legendary Constantia,” writes Hugh Johnson, “Constantia was bought by European courts in the 18th and 19th Centuries in preference to Yquem, Tokay, Madeira…”.
100% Muscat de Frontignan.
A rich, dark golden honey colour with intense perfumed nose of complex spice, cloves and vanilla. Developed secondary flavours of orange marmalade and dark chocolate. An intriguing and ever-evolving wine. The bold, sweet palate is perfectly balanced by tight acidity which results in a long-lingering honeyed finish.
The wine has the potential to age for 20 years +.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants