Tasting Notes: Almenkerk 5 Feb 2014

Wine & Vintage Tasting Notes Extra notes
Almenkerk – Natalie Opstaele Two ranges, out of necessity – premium range for those barrels that stand out – Almenkerk Flagship, second range Lace, third tier goes to specific restaurants, fourth tier to bulk producer. Prices are special offer, but exclude transport of R 80.00 per order Almenkerk Wine Estate was established by the van Almenkerk family (Belgian/Dutch) in 2004 in the cool climate Elgin Valley. 15 Hectares of vineyards, 4/8 hectares of apples and pears. Production of about 1600 cases (12) under the Almenkerk Flagship label, and about 2,800 cases under the Lace by Almenkerk label – small production, focus on quality. Almenkerk’s 100 hectare farm spreads over south-facing slopes surrounded by pristine fynbos and fairy-tale ravines. The high gravel and clay content eliminates the need for irrigation on the 15 hectares of vines. Sauvignon Blanc’s east-west row direction allows precision management of flavour components. Red varieties are planted with north – south row directions to maximise radiation.
Lace Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Low: 15

High: 17

Ave: 16

R65

Pale yellow, very clear. Lovely nose, floral aroma and pleasant softness. Nice crisp palate, with good fruitiness and fullness and easy drinking but still with great acids. An expression of the riper fruit on the farm. This wine is made in an approachable, fruity style and shows expressive, ripe fruit underbuilt by floral notes. Well-balanced acidity & lees contact give the wine its attractive finish.

Alc: 13.5 RS: 5.7 pH: 3.26 TA: 6.3

Almenkerk Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Low: 15

High: 18

Ave: 16.5

R90

Even paler yellow. Slightly more tropical on the nose – passion fruit and flowers. Fuller bodied wine with some grassiness, crisp green granny smith apple with lovely acid structure and a very long finish. Will go very well with food. Sauvignon Blanc grapes are pressed using a nitrogen press (eliminating all oxygen). Both free run and press juice are used, the latter’s higher phenol content giving richer wines. Sauvignon Blanc is aged on lees for 3 months, adding mid-palate weight to the fresh cool-climate acidity. This single-vineyard wine is crafted to be the ultimate expression of Elgin’s cool climate: Elegant, complex with a core of minerality. A true terroir wine, it offsets the typical green aromas of Sauvignon Blanc with the tropical tones of fully ripened fruit. Extended lees contact broadens the palate. Will reward cellaring for up to 5 years.

Alc: 13 RS: 3.5 pH: 3.38 TA: 6.8

Lace Dry Rose 2012

Low: 14

High: 17

Ave: 16

R70

Clear onion skin with a pink hue. Fruity strawberry nose with a hint of spiciness. Strawberry follows through on the palate with nice acid balance. Nice earthy, minerally quality with pleasant savouriness. The main components of this savoury, serious Rosé are Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon, picked fully ripe from shaded bunches to bring out the red spectrum of the fruit. In addition has long lease contact, condensed sauvignon blanc. This salmon coloured rosé is dry and shows ripe strawberry aroma’s, complemented by a slightly savoury finish on the palate.

Alc: 13. RS: 4.6 pH: 3.35 TA: 5.2

Almenkerk Chardonnay 2012

Low: 15

High: 18.5

Ave: 17

R160

Light gold with a tinge of green. Lovely caramel nose with crisp fruit. Big wine with intense richness, lots of acid with beautiful balance. Hazelnut, concentrated and complex with an extremely long finish. Barrel fermented Chardonnay is aged on lees (9 months), rending a rich, luscious wine A tribute to minimalist winemaking; natural settling after pressing, wild yeast fermentation in French barriques, maturing for 10 months on the lees. This enhances the mouth feel and gives multiple layers of complexity. This classic cool-climate Chardonnay is packed with citrus fruit and balanced by gentle wooding.

Alc: 13.5 RS: 5.5 pH: 3.16 TA: 7.5

Lace Vineyard Blend 2011

Low: 15

High: 18

Ave: 16.5

R85

Dark red, slightly garnet. Lovely fruity nose, with some spice in the background. Good fruit on the palate with reasonable amount of tannins on the finish, fairly easy drinking. Lots of mint and spice and chocolate in the background and herbaceousness on the finish that lingers. A good all rounder. Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet franc, aged for 23 months in French barriques. Natural acidity and purity of fruit, typical of Elgin terroir, make for an elegant wine with a lingering finish.

Alc: 13.5 RS: 5.0 pH: 3.4 TA: 6.4

Almenkerk Syrah 2010

Low: 15

High: 19

Ave: 17

R145

Inky purple with a berry red rim. Fruity big berry nose with hint of pepper and spiciness. Big palate with lots of fruit and spiciness but not big jamminess. Nice full tannin and with lots of warmth. Red wines are fermented naturally while skin contact ensures colour and flavour development. Each vineyard section has its own tank in the cellar to track its development over vintages. Wines are blended after 10-23 months, exclusively in French oak, offering elegant, smooth wines with fine tannins. An intra-cultivar blend of 3 clones from a single vineyard. A result of meticulous sorting, natural fermentation & judicious wooding, it is packed with sweet clean fruit and meaty, slightly spicy characters. The gentle ageing, 16-months in French barriques, softens the firm tannin structure.

Alc: 14.5 RS: 3.3 pH: 3.6 TA: 5.6

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