Nederburg Auction Chardonnay


7Springs_Chardonay genericProud to let everyone know that our 2013 Chardonnay has been selected for this years Nederburg Auction on  the 16th and 17th September. There will be 5 cases of this wine for sale at a reserve price of 900.00 South African Rand per case. This is one of the worlds 5 major wine auctions and this is the first time we have submitted a wine. Rigorous selection means that only the very best wines are chosen for the auction. Nederberg Auction Catalogue


Joanna Simons

Wine of the Week Joanna Simon

A review from leading UK wine writer, Joanna Simon

“There are times when only Chardonnay will do as far as I’m concerned. Sauvignon Blanc is there when you need a brilliant espresso-like boost, but good Chardonnay is there for you all the time – when you’re tucking into lemon- and herb-roasted chicken, seared scallops or roasted veg, or when you’re just chilling out with a glass of wine. This one, from English-owned vineyards pretty well within spitting distance of the Atlantic Ocean in the Western Cape, is Chardonnay in its best modern guise: crisp and polished with zingy lemon fruit, a whisper of pineapple and honey and the delicate toast and cashew flavour of classy French-oak barrels.”!WINE-OF-THE-WEEK-Seven-Springs-Vineyards-Chardonnay-2012-Overberg/fhg02/56c5fcc10cf2474324481747

South African tasting Amps Fine Wines

Tim and Vaughan at Amps Fine Wines

Tim and Vaughan ‘manning our table’ at Amps Fine Wines in Oundle, Northamptonshire, England 

Owner of Amps Fine Wines, Philip Amps, braaing his home made Borewors.

Owner of Amps Fine Wines, Philip Amps, braaing his home made Borewors.

Tim pouring our wines

Tim pouring our wines

Two very satisfied customers

Two very satisfied customers 

Amps Fine Wines South African tasting August 2015

Amps Fine Wines South African tasting August 2015

Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay 2012 (Oaked)

Tasting Notes

This delicate, barrel-fermented Chardonnay has a bright, golden colour in the glass. On the ‘nose’ your senses will be filled with subtle aromas of citrus, honeysuckle and jasmine combined with a pleasant nuttiness and buttered brioche. It is elegant and smooth on the palate showing great integration of the oak and fruit on the palate. Having  spent 11 months in second and third fill oak barrels, the wine has a lovely honeyed character with a well-rounded, but textured finish. Pairs well with chicken, fish or pork dishes and drinks best at 14-15 ̊C.

Technical Analysis

Alcohol: 13.86%
Residual Sugar: 2.8 g/l
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/l
pH: 3.36

Harvested by hand on 24th February 2012
Total production: 4,962 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: January 2013
Ageing potential: 5-7 years

International Wine Challenge 2015 – Silver




Platter Wine Award: 4 Star 2015


Harvest Report

The 2012 harvest season was characterised by healthy, ideal growing conditions and a cool, though lengthened, harvesting period without rain or prolonged heat. As August was warmer than usual, bud burst was a week early in some blocks. Abnormally cold and rainy conditions during the second part of flowering resulted in uneven flowering and berry set, with high disease pressure, which Peter, our viticulturist, managed to control very well.
Weather conditions were back to normal in December, and less wind than usual resulted in little damage to vines than previously in previos years. January was exceptionally hot, but through scheduled irrigation the harsh effects were significantly reduced. The ripening period in February and March was further characterised by ideal weather conditions; cool and dry for slow ripening, resulting in good colour and flavour in all blocks. The dry weather also contributed to healthy grapes with minimal disease and rot. The crop quality and size was very good and for some producers one of the best years.
The Seven Springs Chardonnay 2012 was fermented and aged in second and third fill French oak and forth fill American oak, 300L barrels. Wild/natural fermentation started in stainless steel tank and two days later the fermenting juice was transferred to barrel to complete fermentation. There was no malolactic fermentation on this wine. The wine was left to mature on the lees for 11 months to aid in the development of the creamy palate.

Seven Springs Chrdonnay 2012

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Unoaked Chardonnay 2013

Unoaked Chardonnay 2013

Tasting Notes

Harvesting at a low sugar ripeness, gives rise to an elegant well balanced unoaked Chardonnay  with fresh citrus fruit aromas, subtle notes of white blossom, melon and peaches, together with a fresh and vibrant palate. It has a beautiful lingering mouth feel, that makes it easy to drink on its own but one which is also an excellent accompaniment to a range of foods, from Sushi, to salads and even spicy soups.

Technical Analysis

Alcohol: 12.66%
Residual Sugar: 1.6 g/l
Total Acidity: 5.8 g/l
pH: 3.36

Harvested by hand on 20th February 2013
Total production: 6000 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: October 2013
Ageing potential: 3-5 years

Harvest Report

The Chardonnay vines are planted on the cooler, south facing slope, in the lowest lying area on the farm at 200 meters elevation. It experiences a mush higher water table than other parts of the vineyard and as a result there is rarely need to irrigate during the season. Seven Springs Vineyard use clone 76 for their Unoaked Chardonnay. This clone’s typical organoleptic characteristics include peach and citrus. The yield is also higher than the clones used for the oaked Chardonnay.

Picking of the grapes is generally done early in the morning to preserve the delicate aromas of the fruit and to benefit from cooler temperatures which slows down any deterioration that could happen before it reaches the winery. At Seven Springs, we hand pick early with great care, to ensure only the very best fruit goes into the production of our wine as we believe only good wine can be made from good fruit.
We ferment the wine in stainless steel tanks, with specially selected yeasts to enhance and express the natural characteristics of the Chardonnay fruit . After about 2 weeks the alcoholic fermentation was completed and the wine was left on the lees (dead yeast cells) for approximately 5 months. During this time the lees was agitated regularly to add character, mouth feel and tertiary flavours to the wine. Chardonnay is typically aged in oak barrels, but with the Unoaked Chardonnay, the name says it all.
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Unoaked Chardonnay 2013
Decanter 2

Seven Springs Vineyard in Decanter Magazine

We have just had a whole page devoted to Seven Springs Vineyard in the November edition of Decanter Magazine. The whole article is entitled “Buying a Vineyard” but we guess in our case it could have been entitled “Buying a piece of land with cattle roaming on it”….but we guess that might not be a too appealing headline. This is the article as it appears in the magazine.

Decanter Oct 2014 001





This vintage kicked off with hot and humid days and kept the viticulturists on their toes everyday. November saw flooding, with thunder showers and humid conditions. The winds that are a usual occurrence on the farm in November, and one that keeps the mildews in check, only started up in December. This meant a high disease pressure and a season that would see more work and effort in the vineyard then previous years.
Hot and windy days in December, reduced humidity levels with resulting reduction in mildew in the vineyards and we were very lucky that the pressure on the vineyard was quite low, thanks to our viticulturist, Peter Davison, and his vineyard team. The better the vineyard and its management, the better the grapes andthe better the wines. All the vineyards flowered nicely with good fruit set, and with hot and sunny days the perfect conditions were perfect for young ripening grapes.
Just after new Years we saw the first signs of veraison in the Pinot Noir block, planted in 2008 and now going into its 4th, fruit-baring vintage. Still considered young vines, I did see a definite change in the vineyards and more so in the eventual wines made, maturing in barrel currently.
Veraison is a French term for when a grape will start to turn colour, from green to translucent, if Sauvignon Blanc, or purple if Shiraz. The Pinot Noir is the first variety on the farm to turn colour and the Chardonnay follows a week or so later. Two weeks after the Chardonnay the Sauvignon Blanc starts and the last one to go through veraisonis the Syrah, a week or so after the Sauvignon Blanc. Complete veraison, when the whole bunch has turned colour, can take from one to three weeks. After veraison is complete it will be yet another 40 days or so before harvest will begin, but that all depends on the style of the wine the winemaker is working towards.
2014 Harvest kicked off for us on 13th February, picking the Pinot Noir first. We picked over 3 days to ensure optimum ripeness for our style of wine. For the past 4 vintages we have been processing our fruit in Grabouw at Almenkerk. So once the fruit is picked we transport the grapes to the cellar. Because we have to transport the fruit to the winery it is very important to only harvest the best fruit, and a great deal of care is taken during harvest to ensure any and all rotten berries or green berries are removed. This also ensures that the bad fruit doesn’t travel with the good fruit and makes the work at the winery far easier, making the second sorting to eliminate any remaining bad fruit very straightforward.
2014 was our biggest vintage yet, which saw us harvest and vinify just over 70 tons of grapes. Our production includes a range of 5 wines, Pinot noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Unoaked Chardonnay. Our last day of picking was on the 14th of March, making our vintage just a month long and finishing quite early. The reason for this is that our varieties planted on the farm are all early to middle season ripening varieties.
The 2014 vintage of wines are truly, to my eyes, our best yet. The vineyards are showing real maturity and gaining balance every year. The Pinot Noir, in barrel currently, is showing promising red and black currents and cherries, hints of forest floor and showing more terroir character than vintages past.
The Sauvignon Blanc is a delight to the senses. It holds true to the style of Seven Springs and rewards you with aromas of natural vegetation (fynbos) and green apple. It has been spending the past months on the lees, in stainless steel tank, and is destined to be bottled in the coming months. So too is the Unoaked Chardonnay, made in a similar style to our Sauvignon Blanc, however the variety shows different aromatics and palate to its sister. The Unoaked Chardonnay is lighter in alcohol, at 12.5%, and a fresh wine with aromas of limes and orange blossoms.
The Chardonnay, which spends 11 months in used, 300L barrels is quite different from the Unoaked version. Fermented naturally in barrel and left on the lees, but stirred every two weeks for the first few months, to bring about the desired creamy palate. This Chardonnay isn’t the usual style of wooded white, it remains fresh and vibrant, with the oak offering a fuller and richer palate but definitely not overwhelming the natural fruit of the variety.
The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir spend a few more months in barrel, maturing and will be bottled in January of next year, before the start of the new vintage.
The final wine, the Syrah, was harvested, to my delight, with no heat wave breaking, but actually just ahead of a cold front, that would drench the valley again. The first portion of the Syrah was picked on the 12th of March and the remainder, the two clones SH9C and SH21K, were picked on the 14th of March. The clones mentioned in the latter have a more spicy and smoky profile than the grapes harvested on the 12th and as such were fermented separately and with 100% of the stems added back into the fermentation tank.
Adding the stems back into to the fermenting grapes is not a common practice, but it is a well known one. Only stems that have lignified (gone yellow) are added back and these were carefully picked out of the stems coming out of the crusher. A tedious job, but one that is definitely worth it, when it aids in the colour and structure of the wine.
The Syrah is still very young, but shows a lot of promise as this was truly the year I was most happy with the grapes. I have been fortunate to grow as a winemaker with these vines. I’ve had the opportunity to see them mature from 2.5 year old vines to now, at 7 years, and to see the wonders they offer, now and in the future.
Spring is in the air and the Pinot and Chardonnay has already budded, so the game is on, and harvest is but 5 months off.

7Springs-Syrah-2012 (4)

Syrah 2012

Tasting Notes

Deep rich red / purple in the glass, this wine reflects the bright fruit flavours of mulberry and blueberry. Its perfume of smoky spices, pepper and woodland undertones, gives way to a well-structured palate, sumptuous, full of flavour with a smooth decadent, lingering dark chocolate finish. A great match with and beef, venison and spiced lamb dishes, blue cheese and even dark chocolate pots.

Gold Sticker

Decanter World Wines Award: Gold 2014



Technical Analysis 

Alcohol: 14.66%
Residual Sugar: 2.7 g/l
Total Acidity: 6.3 g/l
pH: 3.46

Harvested by hand on 5th, 7th and 9th March 2012
Total production: 10,740 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: September 2013
Ageing potential: 10-12 years

Harvest Report

Harvested on 3 different days, picking at optimum ripeness, the fruit was transported to the winery, processed and transferred to stainless steel tanks. Dry ice was added to the fruit processed on 5th and 7th to slow down oxidation and help keep the fruit cool. It was then left to ‘cold soak’ for two days by which time the juice had taken on an intense purple colour and aromas of blackcurrent and mint. The wine was fermented in the tanks, with twice daily pump-overs to aerate the wine and supply oxygen to the yeast. The wine was then moved to 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels and left to mature for 15 months.

The fruit processed on the 9th was put in a separate tank as whole bunches. It did not undergo ‘cold-soak’. The must was inoculated and left to ferment dry, after which the wine was left on the skins for a few days, giving extended skin contact. It was pressed and put into barrel to age, with blending in early 2013.

The Syrah vines were planted in 2007 on the north facing slope at 240 meters elevation. Syrah is known for its spicy and smoky flavours coming from the oak barrels and the clones selected. Clones SH1C and SH21K give the resulting wine a berry profile with spicy undertones. Clone SH9C also gives a smoky and spicy profile but given that it is used in only a small part of the Syrah vineyard, (with only 1.3 tons of the total 15 tons -10%) it has a big impact on the whole production.  This clone is also part of the selection for the magnums to be released in late 2015.


Tom Cannavan July 2014

Seven Springs Syrah was excellent in the previous 2010 vintage, but I confess that this Gold Medal winner is even better and is a hugely promising portent as the vines age. Deep and vibrant in colour, the nose is just gorgeous, the wisp of cracked stone, the slick of black fruit and the background of flowers – violet creams even – white pepper and gentle earthiness. The palate is flooded with ripe, silky black fruit, but not at all jammy or overblown. Despite 14.5% alcohol, this has genuine freshness with a crispness to the tannin and acid framework, and the pin-point precision of the black fruit pushing through in a finely-tuned finish.

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