Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest
Stellenbosch, South Africa
The Wine Advocate
April 28, 2017, Neal Martin
“The 2015 Unfilitered Noble Late Harvest offers plenty of honeyed fruit on the nose, intermingling with tangerine and quince, and maintaining respectable delineation. The palate is unctuous on the entry with layers of rich, honeyed fruit mixed with orange sorbet. Credit to the winemaking team, as they manage to retain fine acidity and tension here so that they avoid any cloyingness. Enjoy this over the next 5-6 years.”
Shaped by the generosity of nature and the rich biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Fleur du Cap Bergkelder range reflects the abundant yet subtle flavors of this truly unique terroir. All the vineyards from which these wines are made are situated within the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest, yet richest of only six such plant kingdoms in the world. The Bergkelder Selection is known for exceptional quality and wines that express their true varietal character. Climate, soil, altitude and slope orientation are selected to capture as much varietal character as possible. The climate is mild with south and east facing slopes offering protection against late afternoon sun. Cooling breezes from the Atlantic Ocean ensure rich, slow growing crops. Soils are predominantly medium-textured and well drained with good water holding capacity.
The grapes for this wine were predominately sourced from two vineyards in the Stellenbosch area. The grapes were handpicked when the vineyards were approximately 40 - 50% infected by Botrytis cinerea at a sugar level of approx. 40º Balling. A rigorous selection process in the vineyards resulted in yields as low as one ton per hectare. The Noble Late Harvest is made from 60% Botrytised Chenin blanc grapes. Select parcels were hand-harvested and the grapes were lightly pressed. The juice was transferred back onto the skins for a further 18 hours skin contact and pressed again the following morning. The concentrated juice was inoculated with pure yeast and fermented at 16 -18°C. Approximately half way through fermentation, when the desired balance between sugar, alcohol and acidity was reached, fermentation was stopped. To add further complexity to the wine, it was left on its lees for 60 days. Just prior to bottling it was given a light fining and filtration.
The wine is brilliant gold with lime green specs and a honeyed rim. On the nose the wine shows attractive aromas of raisins, honey, litchi and dried fruit with typical dusty botrytis aromas in the background. On the palate the acidity and fruity notes dominated by peach and dried fruit flavours find a beautiful balance, leaving a sublime aftertaste.
This wine is an excellent alternative to or with most sweet desserts such as a Panna Cotta with shards of honeycomb. Alternatively it is the perfect foil for a variety of cheeses. Serve chilled.
Varietals: 60% Chenin Blanc
Wine Alcohol: 9.2%
Titratable Acidity: 11.5
Residual Sugar: 2.75