The world´s most influential lady in wine has reviewed our Aaldering Pinotage Blanc 2013 and the gratifying feedback just got published on her website….. An astonishing 17 out of 20 points! A partial impression from Jancis Robinson:“A very pale diaphanous pink, rather lovely to look at. Smells a little bit like crunchy just-picked apples. Quite extraordinary and not at all what I was expecting! Rich, broad and almost honeyed…. It reminds me of a particularly good Alsace Pinot Blanc….”
Searching for a stunning luxury experience in South Africa? Our 5-starred Aaldering Luxury Lodges are already rated #3 of specialty lodging in Stellenbosch on Tripadvisor. Just 4 months after opening this is way beyond our expectations. Our Guest Manager William Mukondwa is looking forward to welcoming you! Keep us posted on your travel plans to South Africa…
On March 3rd the first Aaldering harvest tasting for the professional South African wine trade took place on the Aaldering Estate. Our guests, amongst others Joakim Hansi Blackadder from Rust & Vrede, Alex von Ulmenstein from Delaire Graff and Siobhan Thompson, the new CEO of WOSA, enjoyed a harvest tasting focusing on what our terroir brings to the wines. Therefore especially considerable time was spent in the cellar, where our winemaker Dustin Osborne performed many tastings from the fermenting tanks and barrels, such as the Aaldering Sauvignon Blanc 2014 free run juice, pressed juices and wild ferment.
A similar tasting was done with the Aaldering Chardonnay 2014, with the addition of the wild ferment from new oak, a 300L Damy from the French forest Allier to be precise, and considered a favorite. Next stop indoors was the barrel room for a pre-sampling of the 2012 reds, with Merlot and Shiraz surprising many guests which particularly know us for our flagship Pinotage, now finding out there´s even more to like.
In the relaxed setting of our tasting room, the entire Aaldering range of current vintages was being examined and discussed thoroughly, with Dustin explaining our winemaking philosophy moving forward and leaving the guests with lots of excitement.
Harvest 2014 kicked off with a bang on the 3rd of February with Chardonnay arriving at the cellar at 7.15am. Quality was perfect as usual, and we were afforded a nice day’s harvest with cool temperatures prevailing the whole day. Interestingly enough harvest only started 3 days later than last year, and slightly earlier than what was expected if one takes the growing season as a whole into consideration. Nevertheless we were thrilled with the quality of the first grapes that came in. As per usual our Chardonnay will have quite a few different components in its final blend to build up the tension in the versatile wine. This year we welcome a batch of spontaneous fermented juice in new oak to the blend, this will add even more complexity and mouth feel to our elegant Chardonnay.
Next up in the cellar was our early batch of Sauvignon Blanc which is used as a greener component to the final blend, this came rolling into the cellar on the 8th of February, 4 days later than 2013. Unlike last year we were afforded the opportunity to harvest the Sauvignon Blanc over 3 different days and almost a week and half apart. Last year we took the whole crop in one day, due to heavy rain warnings (that did eventuate 85mm on one day). The opportunity to pick at different levels of ripeness will afford us the opportunity to have a more layered Sauvignon Blanc, in terms of more fruit spectrum and more complexity in mouth feel and structure. Once again spontaneous (wild) fermentation is being employed on the riper tank in the cellar, with stellar results I might add!
The Pinotage crop is also all in the cellar, this being for the Lady M, Pinotage Rose, Pinotage and renowned Pinotage Blanc. The fruit quality is great and is even better once it goes through our manual sorting and automatic sorting machines in the cellar. The Mistral sorting system has done very good work this year making sure that no MOG (matter other than grape) is getting through into our tanks. The wines are showing beautiful fruit aromatics in this early stage and we are happy with the extraction acquired on the wines. The normal Pinotage will have 3 components this year, as our three tanks of Pinotage (harvested on three separate days, from the bottom, middle and top of the block) all received different treatments, including cold soaking, direct inoculation, and different yeast strains. Once again this variation lends a hand to more complex wines. I cannot wait to bottle the 2014 vintage in the future!
With harvest in full swing lots of international guests drop by during their wine tours through the beautiful Cape. Like Master of Wine Cees van Casteren and a group of 20 Dutch sommeliers and wine connoisseurs such as from the illustrous Chateau Neercanne. Our favorite days at the winery. His report on the wines will follow soon.
There are many upcoming professional tasting events, we’re looking forward to meeting you there and give you a taste of Aaldering Wines.
World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Hamburg Germany, 8 – 10 April 2014, Hall Upper B4, Stand 4J30
Wine & Spirits Asia, 8 – 11 April 2014, Singapore Expo Hall 10, Booth no. 10E4-03
South African Wine Trade Tasting at Hotel ICON, 16th April, 15-17h, Hong Kong
Seoul Int. Wines & Spirits Expo, 17 – 19 April 2014, South Korea, COEX Hall C, Stand C03
Vinexpo Asia Pacific 2014, 27 – 29 May 2014, Hong Kong. (stand no. tbc.)
Beautiful South Tasting, 10 – 11 September 2014, London (stand no. tbc.)