The Grande Provence The Amphora
The ancient art of making and storing wine thousands of years ago by the Greeks and Romans by using clay pot vessels (amphorae) has been embraced once again by some innovative winemakers who are looking at a different approach and style for making some of their wines.The advantage of the clay vessel is that it protects the wine from oxidation in a natural way therefore no need to add any sulphur during the fermentation and maturation process.The result is a wine which offers a unique purity and freshness.
For the 2016 vintage selected Chenin Blanc from a 34 year old vineyard in Franschhoek and only the very best ripe, sun exposed bunches were picked to maximize the health ,flavor and aromatic expression of the wine.After determining by hand the wine was left to ferment naturally on the skins and left to remain in the amphorae for seven months without sulphur. Small percentages of Muscat d’ Alexandria and Viognier were added to enrich the texture of the wine.
The wine offers aromatic aromas of citrus and marmalade leading to complex structured flavours of silky ripe mandarin fruit on the palate, which lingers favorably on the finish.
WINE OF ORIGIN
Alc 12.5 vol %
There is something to be said about following in the footsteps of ancient Greek and Roman winemakers who embraced this ‘technology’ thousands of years ago, using clay hewn out of the earth to cradle and nurture a living liquid. The journey of The Grande Provence Amphora wine began when the winemaker decided to import two 400L clay amphorae from Manetti Gusmano and Figli from Florence, Italy, with seven generations of experience in crafting their superb vessels. A small block of really old Chenin Blanc (33 years old) in Franschhoek was selected and only the very best yellow, sun exposed bunches were picked to maximise the health, flavour and aromatic expression of the wine. The grapes were destemmed by hand, left to ferment naturally on the skins and remained in the clay amphorae on their skins for 8 months, without sulphur.
Made from one of the oldest Chenin Blanc (99%) blocks in Franschhoek and a dash of Muscat d’Alexandrie (1%), the wine was hand pressed, racked, fined and settled for a month before bottling.
The wine is fresh and extremely aromatic. Upfront flavours of mandarin and citrus on the nose complemented by hints of perfume from the Muscat, carry through beautifully onto the palate. This is an elegant and complex wine with integrated layers of texture and spice.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Decant 30 minutes before serving and enjoy slightly chilled.
NOTES FROM THE WINEMAKER
We understand now that tannin from seeds and skins help preserve this wine naturally, therefore needing less sulphur to protect against oxidation. We also know that using vessels made from clay lets the wine ‘breathe’ during ageing allowing for the natural stabilisation of the wine’s phenolic structure. With careful winemaking allowing the fruit to express site authenticity, this wine is full of fruit purity and intense aromatics.