It seems surreal to think that harvest and everything that went with it, is finally over. No more early morning coffees, crushing while the sun sets through the cracks in the Simonsberg Mountain, addition and fermentation checks. All these glorious and fleeting moments now feel as if they are long past (when it has actually only been a few weeks since). These things we come to love as individuals who chose to pursue wine as a career and a passion, come and go so quickly with the passing of each manic harvest season.
Luckily this allows us to reflect on the vintage that was and enter into the next stage of this evolving cycle. Post-fermentation takes us from the tanks to the tasting room. Where the fruits of our labour are sampled, analysed and through judgements on quality and style are allocated to their wine factions. From the fruit-bombs to the mineral menageries, we uncover wonderful variety hidden between the small batch fermentations.
And as some of these young wines enter their post-ferment families, we see some siblings part ways, as those that go to barrel separate from those who stay sans chene (unwooded). The next stage for these finished wines will be the intricate process of blending.
Looking at the style consumers can expect from the 2018 vintage, Boschendal has a firm foundation in producing wines that are clean, linear, cultivar specific and accessible, with our wines always giving something extra. Be it a tantalising tingle after a sip of Sauvignon Blanc or the unexpected umami when tasting some Chardonnay. Lizelle Gerber goes the extra mile in every aspect to produce white wines that always give more than expected.
One of the highlights of this year’s vintage was our last intake of botrytised grapes, originating from the cool climate of Elgin and the breezy sea-influenced Cape Town, which gave us the memorable finish and lingering aftertaste that is now slowly fermenting into a beautiful noble late harvest.
The 2018 red wines have also produced fresh wines with unexpected body and tannin structure. The excitement builds for when these wines will be tasted again after they’ve been put to barrel. The progression and effect of polymerisation on red wines through maturation, give way to wines that have rounded out and their tannins are softer and less austere.
But as we enter into this next stage with excitement, we thank those that took part in the harvest journey, albeit producers, winemakers or mentors. It has been a thrilling ride, yet again.
Danielle Jacobs, Boschendal, Assistant Winemaker