2009 Cabernet Sauvignon - Three Pines

Varietal: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot
Clone: CS46C, CS163C, CS27A
Rootstock: Richter 110, 99
Fruit source: Oude Nektar farm in Jonkershoek Valley (Block 5)
Yield: 5.5 tons/hectare
Total production: 4500 bottles
Alcohol: 14.52%
Total Acid: 5.6
Residual sugar: 239
Sugar-free extract:  33.7 g/l
Age of vines: 20 years at harvest
Trellis: 5-wire vsp
Irrigation: supplemental drip irrigation
Vineyard elevation: 270-290m
Slope: South Westerly

Details of vinification and oaking:

This wine is based on our best block of cabernet — a higher elevation block with a finely textured decomposed granite soil with a clay sub-soil and a gentle Southwest-facing slope. The wines made from this vineyard (including our single-vineyard syrah) always seem to have good ripeness coupled with good natural acidity and a unique floral note that sets it apart from our other blocks of cabernet. There are five different clones within the block, but I usually focus on just three that have quite different characters: clone 46 which is well structured, but with less forward fruit; clone 27 which varies from vintage, but tends to have a firm tannin; and clone 163 which is quite fruit forward. The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested in mid-March. They were picked into small lug boxes and cooled overnight in a refrigerated container to about 14 degrees C., then destemmed and carefully hand-sorted and crushed into small open fermentation vats and cold-soaked for 2-3 days until natural fermentation started. The following day they were inoculated with a mix of yeasts, half with a South African strain and the other half with an imported Bordeaux yeast. About 20% of the wine was fermented with natural yeasts. Regular, vigorous punchdowns were given every 2-4 hours for the first half of fermentation, then every 6-8 hours thereafter. The wine was basket pressed and racked directly to barrel for malo-lactic fermentation and subsequent barrel maturation. A mix of coopers was used, all French oak, all 300 litre, about 70% new and the balance second-fill. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration after 22 months barrel maturation.

Winemaker’s notes:

We had a good growing season with fairly normal temperature patterns, but with almost no rainfall throughout the season. The fruit set was light and overall we had one of our lowest yields to date. The final ripening period was noted for being fairly warm. The warm final ripening, coupled with drought conditions, made for wines with quite a bit of extract. The wines should reward proper bottle maturation.

Very pure aromas of cassis and blackberry fruit and the white jasmine notes that characterize this vineyard. Dark and ripe on the palate with a lush core of plum and black fruits. Rich and fine mouth-feel with the velvety tannins typical of a Jonkershoek wine.