Menagerie means “a strange or diverse collection of people or things.” John and Tasha Seccombe decided to create this new label in 2020 as a space in which to experiment and work with new vineyards, varieties, and techniques. All of this is important in their quest for more refined and authentic expressions of the wonderful terroirs of the Western Cape in which they work. Menagerie is a blend of two vineyards; the first is the organically grown Grenache blanc vineyard in Stellenbosch on decomposed granite soils, and the second is the Grenache gris from richer clay soils on the lower slopes of the Voor Paardeberg mountain on the boarder of the Swartland. The Seccombes’ style overall is to pick early, based mostly on taste with an eye on style of the wine that they’re aiming for. They never look for a big alcohol expression (nor a low one for that matter) and prefer subtle wines that show ripeness, while being restrained and elegant. Menagerie checks all the boxes.
The grapes are destemmed into large vats where they spent four days of cool maceration without alcoholic fermentation to better bring out the color, flavor and texture of these two shades of the Grenache grape. The juice was then pressed off in old Vaslin basket press and settled overnight to decant the heavier solids in the juice before being taken to old 228L oak barrels for fermentation. No SO2, enzymes or inoculations were used, relying instead on fruit and cellar hygiene to ensure that our wines don’t require any chemical interventions at this stage. Before bottling, cross-flow filtration was used for stability and a small dosage of sulfur was added to ensure freshness.