Oak Valley, Tabula Rasa Chardonnay 750ml 2016South Africa, Elgin
The Latin phrase for ‘Clean Slate.’ The concept stems from their imaginary view of Oak Valley as an appellation within the Elgin plateau and their search for new sites that produce exceptional wines. TABULA RASA is single-minded, single vineyard and single clone. With grapes sourced from a handful of vines within a block, focused exclusively on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Their mission is to create wines from a blank canvas that represent the ultimate expression of their terroir.
'The 2016 season started with good winter dormacy, especially June and July which were particularly cold. That's where the normalcy ended and the challenges began as it became one of the warmest and driest on record. The warm spring led to earlier bud break in September which meant that the harvest season was one of the earliest in years starting with Pinot on 9th February. Despite the warmer summer conditions, unique cooling factors such as our low cloud cover and the effect of the Groenlandberg directing cool air down our valleys at night lowered our average temperatures. This helped with the more gradual development of sugar accumulation and flavour ripening. We recorder the hottest January in 5 years and this was followed by a normal February and fairly cool March which slowed down the ripening of the reds.
The last grapes were harvested on 31st March. Despite almost all regions suffering from lower yields, the general trend in Elgin was a slight uptick in yield. Likely due to the availability of water via the Eikenhof dam and more water reserves in the soil comparative to other areas. Another important factor was the lack of strong winds during flowering. The dry conditions resulted in smaller berries and more concentrated fruit' – Winemaker
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