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Mother Rock

2020

‘Force Celeste’

Chenin Blanc   |   Swartland - South Africa

About

All the grapes come from the Waterval Vineyard, on the Paardeberg, owned by Barry Schreiber and farmed by his daughter Franziska Wickens. This year, due to a huge increase in demand, Stompie outgrew the old vine block of the vineyard and looked toward new, dry-farmed, bush vines on top of the hill overlooking the old-vine Kweperfontein block. The old bush vines were planted in 1983 on decomposed granite and dry farmed since its initial planting with more recent block being planted in 2005. Since 2014, the vines have only received organic sprayings and the undervine work has been done purely by machine/hand and not chemically.

The grapes were hand-harvested starting in mid-January into small lug-boxes, limiting the damage to the grape in larger bins. They were harvested at different sugar levels to insure good pH and acid from the early picking with powerful structure and aromas from riper batches. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and fermented primarily in stainless steel at cooler temperature (57°F) while the remaining 10% was fermented in old barrels. One-third of the total lot was whole-bunch skin-fermented for one month. The skin-fermented lots were pressed to barrel and after eight months of aging the stainless and barrel aged portions were racked off the gross lees and bottled in October without fining, filtration or a sulfur addition.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Chenin Blanc
  • Vineyard: Waterval Vineyard on the Paardeberg Mountain – farmed by Franziska Wickens
  • Vine Age: Two blocks: A 37-year-old bushvine parcel and a 15-year-old bushvine parcel
  • Soil Type: Decomposed granitic sand intermixed with fractured clay
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – 90% stainless steel – 10% old 300L French tonneau
  • Skin Contact: 33% - four weeks on skins & stems in old 300L French tonneau and stainless-steel tanks
  • Aging: 8 months in 90% stainless steel and 10% old 300L French tonneau
  • pH: 3.45
  • Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
  • Total SO2: 15 ppm
  • Total Production: 2,777 cases

Tasting Note

Semi-orange with a bit of skin contact. Zesty and fresh nose with aromas of apples, pears and rain soaked stones. The palate is silky, gripping texture (from the skin contact) and quite fresh with an herbal edge and pear notes reemerging. The finish is a dichotomy between a mouthful or rocks and slated fresh herbs, a touch of tannin and mouthwatering acidity.

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