A single varietal Clairette Blanche is very rare, which is sad as the few I have tasted have been absolutely delightful. Grape growers normally pull out these old vines, to replace with something more reliable and popular. Luckily these old bush vines, a single vineyard at Avon in Breedekloof, planted in 1977, have been nurtured back to life and celebrated in the making of this exquisite wine.
I am unsure if it is my surroundings at Bao Down while sipping on this wine but wonderful ‘asianesque’ aromas bellowed out of my glass; miso butter, lychee, lemongrass, daikon, prawn toast even! On the palate, it danced nervously but ever so elegantly. An absolutely intriguing and intricate wine smooth and seductive. Generous, yet focused and light, with a bone dry finish. It retails at R400 – so not an everyday wine by any means, but this wine is so exquisite and unique, I am glad the price tag allows it only for special occasions. It is a treasure chest full of surprises.
Appellation : Breedekloof South Africa
Age of vines : 42 years
Root stock : Jacques
Trellis System : Bush vine
Soil Type : Longlands & Westleigh
Irrigation : Overhead irrigation
Type : hand- picked (early morning)
Yield : 0.9 – 1.5 tons
Date : March
Sugar : 22.5ºB
Whole bunch pressed and settled for 24 hours. Racked to 4th fill French oak barrels and further fermented. Thick
lees contact for about 6 months with regular ‘bâtonnage’ then racked from thick lees with sulphur added and aged in the same barrels for a further 2-3 months.
Alcohol ~ 13.37%
Residual Sugar ~ 1.36/l
Total Acid 6.46~ g/l
pH ~ 3.22