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Blackwater

2018

‘Pleasure Garden’

Palomino   |   Robertson - South Africa

About

Palomino is a white grape widely grown in Spain (particularly in the Jerez region), and best known for its use in the production of sherry. In Spain, the grape is split into the sub-varieties Palomino Fino, Palomino Basto, and Palomino de Jerez, of which Palomino Fino is by far the most important grape variety used for sherry. It is medium-sized, golden in color and produces large, loose clusters. It also has the least amount of malic acid of any other grape. Palomino ripens early and yields are generally high and regular and for all of these reasons it was planted in the Cape for brandy production over two hundred years ago. The variety is quite obscure today though as fate would have it Francois rediscovered a 90+-year old vineyard in Robertson. It was planted the year Alfred Hitchcock released his first feature film, ‘The Pleasure Garden’ and Francois believed that aptly defined this vineyard. He took a chance with the variety in 2016 and continues to experiment to find the right expression. The ’18 is really close to perfection and being entirely concrete fermented and without skin contact for the vintage you can really see the filigree expression of Palomino.

The fruit was harvested toward the end of March and whole-bunch pressed the fruit with full solids directly to a single concrete egg. Here fermentation occurred without any additions and the shape of the egg allowed for a natural battonage lees with the juice. The wine aged for 12 months in concrete without any additions and was directly bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Palomino
  • Vineyard: Van Zylshof Estate
  • Vine Age: 91-years-old
  • Soil Type: Gravelly, lime-rich, alluvial soils
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – concrete (100% destemmed)
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 12 months in concrete egg
  • pH: 3.38
  • Total Acidity: 4.5 g/L
  • Total SO2: 71 ppm
  • Total Production: 150 cases

Tasting Note

White peach, blossom and sun-warmed hay led to a palate of juicy fruit—litchi, peach, nectarine, an edge of pithy orange rind. It is more angular and less viscous than previous releases. The subtleties here are quite impressive.

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