Leading South African sommelier, Miguel Chan, has reviewed our latest Pinot Noir (our 2012 ‘Young Vines II’) and scored it 91+ points out of 100. This wine was made from 3.5 year old vines and shows the fantastic potential our vineyard has for this, and our other, varietals. The same wine is being sold in the USA as Over the Mountain Pinot Noir 2012.
News from Riana and Hetta from our vineyard, November 2013.
Preparation for our 2014 harvest started in October 2012! At that time buds formed on the branches that were to carry the fruit for the 2013 harvest and, through the pruning that followed the harvest, during the winter of 2013, these two-bud spurs were left to develop and nurture the fruit for the 2014 harvest. This means that as early as last month, October 2013, nature was influencing the quality and quantity of the 2015 harvest. It was rainy, cloudy and humid – not ideal conditions, as it is a sunny period at this time that will contribute to a fruitful harvest. We’ll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us. Our Pinot Noir grapes, the first to be harvested each year, are looking beautiful! The vines have started to flower along with the Chardonnay.
The Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc usually start flowering a little later.
I love the vineyards in spring, they have the most amazing green foliage.
A beautifully balanced, vibrant wine it is garnet in colour, with delicate woodland and truffle undertones. Offering opulent aromas of raspberries, cherries and strawberries, the oak is subtle, supporting the fruit driven profile of this wine. The palate is smooth and medium bodied, with bold fruit characters balanced well with the oak. A great food match with game, duck, and perfect with mushroom risotto
International Wine Challenge: Bronze 2015
Platter Wine Award: 4 Star 2015
Residual Sugar: 2.8 g/l
Total Acidity: 5.3 g/l
Harvested by hand on 14th and 17rd February 2012
Total production: 10,140 bottles (750ml)
Bottled: February 2013
Ageing potential: 5 years
The 2012 harvest began on Valentine’s Day, with the Pinot Noir fruit being the first of the season to be picked. Strating soon after sunrise, the first sorting took place in the vineyard. At the winery the fruit was de-stemmed, crushed and pumped to stainless steel tanks, where it was left, for five days, to ‘cold soak’ at below 50˚F. The ‘cold-soaking’ process helped the extraction of primary fruit characters to enhance the fruit driven wine style. As the must warmed, the wild yeasts occurring naturally on the skins caused fermention to begin. After two weeks the alcoholic fermentation was complete and the grapes were pressed. It was then moved to second and third fill, French oak barrels and left to mature for 10 months. The older barrels complemented the fruit expression of this style of Pinot Noir; a light bodied, fruit forward wine. Juice from the different clones were kept separate during the whole process and only blended a few months before bottling.
The worlds best Pinot Noir is reputed to result from the selection of clones; a common practice in Burgundy. Clones 777 and 828 are currently favoured in addition to the reliable 114, 115 and 667. These clones are known for their strong colour, elegant rich aroma with hints of small fruits. They give the wine structure and potential for ageing. Seven Springs selected four clones: 777, 667, 115 and 459, planted in 2008, on the warmer north facing slope at 240 mters elevation on Bokkeveld Shale with decomposed granite and deep, rich yellow and red clay subsoil.
Fear not that this is boldly declared as ‘young vines’. ‘Old Vines’ doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality, and believe me, this second vintage of wild yeast-fermented Pinot is fragrant and rich, with a touch of game and blood, solid plummy fruit and just a glimpse of more delicate floral and woodland nuances. It is juicy and savoury, the 10 months in older oak adding some clove and smokiness to really sweet fruit, a glimpse of raspberry ripple softness, but that plum and briar character and the 14% alcohol give it flesh and substance. Finishing on natural spice and deep-set fruit, it is a lovely Pinot in a more solid style, but not without elegance.
As a wine and food commentator, I am fortunate to be invited to some pretty awesome wine functions. Fortunately these happen usually in some of Cape Town’s leading restaurants where chefs go all out to showcase their dishes to a group of people who certainly appreciate what is put before them. Jos Baker, the doyenne of food and wine writers in South Africa, and in my view a living National Treasure, once said to me “the wine is there in the bottle, you have to bring the food to it.”
I have recently attended two such functions at Dear Me, a restaurant in Longmarket Street
Read the full post by Michael Olivier’s Blog
Thanks for the wonderful post Michael!
Also see Michael Olivier’s online magazine; Crush
As of the 1st of May 2013 our wines will now be available in Germany through a company called Starweine. From receiving an email on March 16th asking about our wines, to the wines going on sale, the process has been extremely encouraging. Dealing with owner Gebhard Fuess has been an absolute pleasure, someone who actually does what they say they are going to do. We are looking forward to an excellent and long lasting relationship with Gebhard and his team. Details of our wines and others on the site can be found on the link below.
Everything you wanted to know about our vineyard managers dog, Truffles. Truffles travels everywhere with vineyard manager Peter. This article is from Michael Olivier in Cape Town.
This wine shows aromas of white blossoms, melon and peaches together with a fresh and vibrant palate. It has a beautiful lingering mouth-feel and slight texture that makes this wine a standalone, but also an excellent accompaniment to various dishes; from Sushi, to salads and even spicy soups.
Harvested at low sugar, it has an ideal ripeness for the style of the Unoaked Chardonnay we aim to produce. At this lower sugar level the grapes have fresh or green citrus fruit aromas, subtle notes of blossoms and even a hint of greenery. Also at this low sugar the acidity of the grape is still fresh and this in turn leads to a fresh and crisp palate and a lower alcohol too.
Alcohol: 12.51% Residual Sugar: 1.7 g/l Total Acidity: 6.5 g/l pH: 3.29
Harvested 19th February 2013 Bottled: October 2014 Ageing potential: 3-4 years
Production: 12,546 bottles (750ml)
This was the wettest and toughest vintage Seven Springs’ has endured and it was one on the wettest around the world. Floods and heavy rains throughout the winter, leading to lots of reservoir water for the vines. Summer canopies were lush and beautiful because of all the excess water, but overall the Summer was hot and humid and we did not experience the customary wind conditions. This lead to very high disease pressures in the vineyards and action had to be taken. It was a year of high yields and not the best of quality. This was the vintage where the viticulturists had to show their skill. The quality of wine was determined by the health of your vines. Thank goodness we had Peter. The cooler regions and white wines were the least affected by the bad weather.
Watch our video, listen to what our Winemaker has to say about Seven Springs Unoaked Chardonnay 2014
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.
Alcohol: 13.86% Residual Sugar: 2.8 g/l Total Acidity: 6.2 g/l pH: 3.36
Harvested 24th February 2012 Bottled: January 2013 Ageing potential: 5-7 years
Total production: 4,962 bottles (750ml)
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.
Watch our video, listen to what our Winemaker has to say about Seven Springs Chardonnay 2012
2013 marks our fourth vintage and as the vines mature so does the character and quality of the fruit produced by these vineyards. It’s familiar profile of pineapple, elder flower and green apple are evident in the aroma of the wine. On the palate, as with previous vintages is shows a balanced fruit acidity, fresh coastal characteristics and that ever familiar lingering minerality. This year also that typical South African Sauvignon blanc characters of freshly cut grass and fynbos are there at every welcome sip. Serve chilled at 10-12 ̊C. It will open up well in the glass and can be enjoyed as an aperitif or matched with seafood, chicken, lightly spiced or fragrant dishes.
Alcohol: 13.14% Residual Sugar: 1.6 g/l Total Acidity: 6.6 g/l pH: 3.36
Harvested 25th February and 8/9 March 2013 Bottled: 9th October 2013 Ageing potential: 3-4 years
Production: 11,070 bottles (750ml)
The Seven Springs harvest season had never started so late, for producers across the Western Cape it was not only late but also around two weeks shorter than usual. The prolonged winter conditions had continued well into September in some areas and was followed by a cool spring, with the occasional rains and even floods on some farms. These cold, wet weather conditions ensured even bud burst across the vineyard, and the accumulation of water allowed the vines to cope with the warmer conditions later in the season.
The vineyards had good growth in ideal dry weather conditions during flowering and whilst the fruit set, which happens around late October early November. We experienced none of the customary gale force winds which often prevail early in the season and the grapevines were able to flourish, but the southeaster was out in force throughout December.
From mid January until April the conditions were hot and dry, making it a challenging year with respect to irrigation management. The ripening period was dry and warm, keeping our harvest season quite short.
Watch our video, listen to what our Winemaker has to say about Seven Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2013
International Wine & Spirits Competition 2016 – SILVER
As the vineyards show more maturity so does the wine. Garnet in colour, the wine offers opulent aromas of raspberries and sour cherries. The oak, as always, is subtle and understated, supporting the fruit driven profile of this wine. The 2013 has a leaner mouth feel than previous vintages, but the palate is still smooth and medium bodied, with refined and pure fruit characters. To enjoy it fully we suggest you decant the wine at least an hour before drinking and serve at 16-18 ̊C or as a light red for summer you can serve it at 10-12°C. It can be enjoyed with a variety of foods; such as a mushroom risotto, duck and game dishes or simply on its own.
Alcohol: 13.67% Residual Sugar: 1.7 g/l Total Acidity: 5.9 g/l pH: 3.39
Harvested 12th & 13th February 2013 Bottled: January 2014 Ageing potential: 5-7 years
Production: 12,600 bottles (750ml)
The start of the growing season was cool, with a quite a few overcast days and regular showers. None of the customary gale force winds prevailed early in the season and the grapevines were able to flourish, but the south
Easter was out in force throughout December.
Hardly any rain was recorded from mid-November, and with unrelenting heat from January onwards, producers were challenged by particularly tricky irrigation management. The ripening period was dry and warm making it a bit more condensed for us
Watch our video, listen to what our Winemaker has to say about Seven Springs Pinot Noir 2013