As is typical in the Cape’s older Semillon vineyards, there are some dark skinned Semillon vines inter-planted with the light skinned Semillon. This oddity is virtually extinct in the rest of the world, and so affords us a chance to make something uniquely South African.
The La Colline vineyard is a joy to work with. The vines are very settled, giving a dependable crop that produces a wine with remarkable depth and mouthfeel.
The first rendition of this wine in 2014 was called Arrow Heart Semillon, made mostly from the dark skinned grapes, or Semillon Gris. The resulting wine was strange in a good way and good in a strange way. In 2015, we made the decision to simply pick the grapes just as they grow in the vineyard and whole bunch press them all together. The resulting wine is somewhere around 10 or 15 % Semillon Gris, the rest Semillon Blanc. The main reason for the change in approach is that we feel like it’s a better, or truer reflection of the old vineyard, and perhaps closer to what a dry Cape white wine may have been like back in the 1800’s. We think it’s important to respect this, and to make a wine that speaks about the place in its entirety.
This bottling currently shows the usual bit of reduction on opening. This blows off after a short while. The nose shows orange peel, thatch, and touches of hedge fruit. The palate shows tremendous depth, along with the mid-palate density and texture that old vine Semillon is known for. This wine will certainly reward bottle aging. Decanting recommended. Fear not the sediment.