Tasting Notes: Ayama 14 Mar 2014

Wine & Vintage Tasting Notes Extra notes
Ayama Terry Odgers as Michela Sfiligoli from the farm damaged her ankle and could not travel to JHB. Ordering – direct from far. Special offer >6 bottles, free delivery in JHB, >12 bottles on olive oil & waiters friend. Slent Farm on the south facing slopes of Paardeberg, Paarl. First settled in 1685, always had fruit trees & vineyards. Italian owners (Attilio & Michela) plus partners bought the farm in 2005, first wines produced in 2006. Ayama – Xhosa word meaning “someone to lean on”. Owners are very focussed on conservation, especially baboons and community, especially the workers who have lived on the farm for a considerable time.
Ayama Brut Rose’ MCC 2010

Low: 15

High: 17

Ave: 15.5

R125

Red/brown, very dark onion skin, salmon with small bubbles. Mild nose with a hint of brioche and strawberry, follows through on the palate. Reasonable acids, lovely full mousse, clean, crisp, red apple. Drinking nicely now. 60% Pinot noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinotage. The grapes were hand harvested into bins in the cool of the morning. They were then whole-bunch pressed and only free run juice was used for final blend. Select yeast was used for primary fermentation. A 30% portion of the Chardonnay was also put through malolactic fermentation. The wine was blended and bottled where it underwent the iconic MCC fermentation. This was followed by bottle maturation of approximately 24 months, and only then was it disgorged, corked and labelled. This dark salmon pink MCC shows lifted floral, strawberry and violets, with undertones of Turkish delight and red apple on the nose. The palate is elegant, lively and vibrant with a fine mousse and lingering, crisp finish – all perfectly integrated for pure enjoyment.
Ayama Blanc de Blanc 2008

Low: 13.5

High: 17

Ave: 15

R125

Clear yellow, fairly bubble with a yeasty nose and hints of marzipan. Creamy palate with a relatively short finish and clean acids. 100% Chardonnay. Grapes were hand harvested into small bins, in the cool of the morning. Bunches were pressed whole and only free run juice was used in the final blend. After primary fermentation the wine underwent malolactic fermentation of which 5% was done in barrel. After blending and bottling fermentation commenced in the bottle for 6 weeks at 15 C, thereafter the wine was bottle matured on the lees for 36 months before disgorging. With its green tinged colour this wine displays layers of citrus, spring blossoms, white peach, grapefruit and quince followed by toasty notes. On the fresh palate the wine is creamy and perfectly balanced and shows chalk minerality. The wine is clean and seamless and displays a fine mousse. With the long lasting palate and strong aroma it dazzlingly express its distinct personality.

Alc: 12 RS: 8.3 PH:3.26 TA 6.11

Ayama Brut MCC 2009

Low: 14

High: 17

Ave: 15.5

R125

Similar to BdB but fewer bubbles. More bready nose with some apple. Palate has some brioche, green apples with a longer finish. Nice freshness with more vigorous mousse. Lemon and zesty characteristics dominate. Pinot noir 54%, Chardonnay 46% The grapes were hand harvested into bins, in the cool of the morning. They were then whole-bunch pressed and only free run juice was used for final blend. Select yeast was used for primary fermentation followed by malolactic fermentation. The wine was blended and bottled, where it then underwent the iconic MCC fermentation. This was followed by bottle maturation of approximately 24 months, and only then was it disgorged, corked and labelled. This green-tinged, straw coloured MCC shows aromas of apples, brioche and melon with perfectly integrated undertones of toast and nuts. The palate is elegant and lively with upfront fruit, yet creamy with slight bread dough and layered mineral flavours. The mousse is fine and the finish lingering, crisp and dry.
Ayama Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Low: 13

High: 15

Ave: 14

R58

Pale yellow tending to straw. Big nose with greeness, greenness and citrus. Greenness carries through but flavours are quite shy. Mostly inoffensive with light acids, making this an easy drinking wine. Origin, Western Cape. 50% Of the wine had extended skin contact. Overnight settlement and cold fermentation took place, where after fermented dry, assures maximum flavour and more complexity. This is a well-balanced, dry wine with complexity of asparagus and nettle flavours and some litchi undertones. It has a crisp, dry finish, mineral and a lingering aftertaste.
Ayama Chardonnay 2013

Low: 13

High: 15

Ave: 14.5

R58

Paler yellow and very clear. Shy nose with a hint of butteriness and syringa seed. Pear and creamy flavours on the palate, with light acids. 100% Chardonnay, WO Western Cape. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in small French oak barrels. Matured on the lees for four months. Fining and filtering before bottling. A lightly oaked, well-balanced wine with aromas of baked pear, lime and whiffs of buttered toast.
Baboon’s Cheek Viognier 2012

Low: 13

High: 15.5

Ave: 14.5

R69

Slightly golden, big sweet floral nose – jasmine & honeysuckle. Follows through with sweetness and fair complexity. Acids still quite reticent. Ripe aftertaste with archetypal viognier flavours. Full bodied, substantial wine that will go well with food. Spicy palate although the finish is a little short. 100% Viognier, WO Western Cape. After the grapes were crushed, the must was fermented with selected yeast at 13° C. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was racked, fined, filtered, in august we will proceed with stabilization and bottling. White floral such as honey-suckle or jasmine, as well as orange blossom. Along with a honey or honey-suckle notes, you’ll also find stone fruit flavours, peach, apricot, nectarine, as well as a nice spice component that can be described as baking spices. Full bodied, “lanolin” feel in your mouth. Africa’s soul is born at Slent, at the foot of Perdeberg Mountain. Stunning red-gold sunsets highlight Table Mountain as our baboons leave the Viognier vineyard for their night’s rest. But look! The leader of the troop lingers with his baby safely in his arms. Baby baboon grins at us, wondering what kind of two-legged baboons we might be. The cheeky Daddy turns his back and walks off, swaggering as if he owns the land. It’s winter time, no loss of grapes; but now, when we walk in the Viognier we recall that cheeky Daddy Baboon.
Baboon’s Swing Chenin Blanc 2013

Low: 13

High: 17

Ave: 15.5

R69

Deeper yellows and straw. Shy nose with hints of tropical fruits. Spices on the palate with a long finish and good complexity. Lovely acid balance with pepper and peaches. Sweet fruit taste but with a good dry finish. 100% Chenin from farm’s vineyards. After the grapes were crushed, the must was fermented with selected yeast at 13°C. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was racked, fined, filtered, in august we will proceed with stabilization and bottling. Beautifully ripe, rich Chenin Blanc, quince-like with fig undertones/overtones with a fabulously sweet, ripe nose. Great palate, overflowing with honeyed nectarine flavours. Have a swing! Three baby baboons are chasing each other, swinging on the poles in the Chenin vineyard. Daddy baboon is keeping a lazy eye on them, making sure they are safe from predators and humans. Mummy baboon smiles when she sees the line of crooked poles left as the babies enjoy their wild game, and decides to go and hang out with her family. No major damage is caused, but our special “pole man” complains, as he has just finished his winter work of fixing poles and wires in the Chenin Blanc vineyard. When we remind him how much our Slent kids enjoy playing on their jungle gym, he goes home smiling, thinking that children are children everywhere, even little baboons!
Ayama Merlot 2012

Low: 14

High: 16

Ave: 15

R62

Rich red with slight garnet rim. Meaty nose with slight fruity/plummy background. Very ripe fruit entry, but not jammy. The sweetness follows through. Good tannins, meaty spiciness and reasonable complexity. Nice elegance and clean, pleasant wine not spoilt by wood flavours. 100% merlot from farms vineyards. Grapes were harvested at an optimum ripeness of 24° B, inoculated with a pure yeast strain and fermented on the skins until dry. After alcoholic fermentation was completed, malolactic fermentation took place before the wine was matured in steel tanks. This is a supple, elegant and very appealing wine with the tannins well integrated, but prominent enough to need a year or two longer to show off the ripe, fleshy black-cherry, chocolate shadings to their best advantage.
Ayama Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Low: 13

High: 15

Ave: 14

R62

Dark ruby red. Sweet fruit and green nose. Red fruit sweetness follows through with reasonable tannins and hints of vanilla. Easy drinking wine that needs food. 100% cabernet sauvignon from farms vineyards. Grapes were harvested at an optimum ripeness of 24°B, inoculated with a pure yeast strain and fermented on the skins until dry. After alcoholic fermentation was completed, malolactic fermentation took place before the wine was matured in steel tanks. The wine shows good varietal characteristics with upfront cherry fruit. Excellent follow-through on the palate where the soft/ripe tannins linger on the senses. The wine has good acid structure that balances well with the tannic structure and contributes to its elegant finish.
Baboon’s Back Shiraz 2011

Low: 14.5

High: 17

Ave: 16

R79

Garnet with a nice clarity. Spice and red berry fruit on the nose. Juicy fruits & berries, very smooth with spice and meatiness on the finish. Big complex wine with a long finish and a hint of chilli. Ready for drinking now. 100% Shiraz from farms vineyards. Grapes were harvested at an optimum ripeness of 24°B, inoculated with a pure yeast strain and fermented on the skins until dry. After alcoholic fermentation was completed, malolactic fermentation took place in steel tanks. This full red wine’s bouquet suggests ripe berries overlaid with green pepper and spicy flavours. There is excellent follow through onto the palate where the peppery flavours dominate. The well-integrated ripe tannins make for easy accessibility. finding a family of baboons delighting in our Shiraz grapes. It’s a unique sight. They meander though the grapevines picking the ripest bunch and carry it under their arms to then lose it on picking another one. The loss is not irreparable; our watchdogs send them away and let us harvest what becomes the content of this bottle. A smooth, fruity, hearty and pleasant wine for the palate and smell. Our baboons can guarantee that!
Baboon’s Cuddle Pinotage 2012

Low: 14

High: 17

Ave: 16

R79

Big ruby, tending to purple. Stewed fruits with spice characters on the nose. Big fruity flavours in a nice rich wine. Apparent fruit sweetness but has a good dry finish with good maturity for its age. 100% Pinotage from farms vineyards. For 75% of the duration of alcoholic fermentation, juice is pumped over the skin cap for colour and flavour extraction. Thirty percent of the wine is matured in new to third-fill small oak barrels for six months. A distinctive mocha, dark chocolate and toffee flavour complemented by berry aromas makes this wine truly unique. The wine is medium bodied, soft and easy to drink with an abundance of juicy fruit and velvety and smooth tannins. like finding a mummy baboon cuddling her baby baboon in our pinotage vineyard. It’s a unique sight. Baby baboon moves arranging himself in a comfortable and cosy position squeezing tightly in mum’s arms to receive few pinotage berries as special sweet treat. The loss is not irreparable and the sight is priceless. A distinctive mocha, dark chocolate and toffee flavour complemented by berry aromas makes this wine truly unique. The wine is medium bodied, soft and easy to drink with an abundance of juicy fruit and velvety and smooth tannins. A real cuddle!

Alc:14 RS: 3.8

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