Three Pines CabSauv 2015-min

Varietal: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot , 4% Merlot,
Clone: CS46C, CS163C, CS27A
Rootstock: Richter 110, 99
Fruit source: Oude Nektar farm in Jonkershoek Valley (Block 5)
Yield: 4.0 tons/hectare
Total production: 8530 bottles
Alcohol: 14.5%
Total Acid: 5.4
Residual sugar: 2.5
Total extract: 32.1 g/l
Age of vines: 26 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 we 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 early March. They were picked into small lug boxes and cooled overnight in a refrigerated container to about 14 degrees C., then de-stemmed 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 25% of the wine was fermented with natural yeasts. Regular, vigorous punchdowns were given every 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 and without filtration after 20 months in barrel.

Winemaker’s notes:

The 2015 vintage is being hailed as one of the best vintages of the past 20 years. It was an extremely dry growing season with almost no rain from November through harvest. Coupled with the low yield, the wines are rich and intense with a soft, elegant tannin. With this wine we are always looking for a fine balance between Power and Elegance. When young, this wine shows the violet/cassis/black cherry notes typical of this vineyard, coupled with the fine elegant tannins for which the Jonkershoek Valley is known.