Silverthorn, Jewel Box 750ml 2015South Africa, Western Cape
'John Loubser is making some of the Cape's best bubblies right now, wines that show finesse and attention to detail. This 70/30 cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir spent 38 months on lees and is complex, creamy and well balanced, with notes of bread and umami, fine bubbles and wonderful palate length. A world class fizz. 2019-25.' – Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2019, 96/100
'Colour is light straw yellow with elegant fine bubbles. On the nose is a complex aromas of roasted almonds, marzipan and subtle hints of strawberry and cherry compote followed by zesty citrus nuances. The palate is dry, rich and full – soft toasty creaminess with a beautiful palate weight.' – Winemaker
The Southern Cross, or Crux, is the best known constellation in the southern hemisphere's skies, and also our favourite. It gave early explorers their bearings when travelling the southern oceans. Hidden within Crux is a fascinating deep-sky object known as Kappa Crucis. Regarded as one of the finest open clusters in the Milky Way galaxy, it was discovered by Nicolas Louis Lacaille, in South Africa, in 1751. Kappa Crucis took its nickname, “Jewel Box”, from noted English astronomer Sir John Herschel, who plotted the southern skies on a four-year visit to Cape Town in the 1830s. He referred to it as “a casket of variously coloured precious stones”. The Jewel Box cluster consists of approximately 100 vibrant stars made up of a mixture of sparkling supergiants, brilliant reds and blues intermingled with yellows and whites.
When Dom Pierre Perignon, the Benedictine monk and so called father of Champagne first experienced the joys of sparkling bubbles vibrantly frothing out of a bottle of wine he allegedly and excitedly exclaimed ‘come quickly, I am drinking the stars’. We can honestly relate to this statement.
In order to complete our trio, the aim with Jewel Box was to create a wine with emphasis on richness, opulence and complexity. The inspiration for this style would be two of my all-time favourite Champagnes namely, Krug and Bollinger. The grapes were hand harvested towards the end of January 2015 and gently whole bunch pressed to recover a maximum of only 550 litres per ton. Fermentation of the Chardonnay was split between stainless steel and old French oak barrels while the Pinot Noir was only fermented in stainless steel. This creates the basis of complex building blocks which are critical when it comes to the final blending. A further technique of using a reserve portion of Chardonnay which has spent 12 months in old French barrels also adds a very interesting blending component. The final blend consists of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. The wine spends a minimum of 38 months on the lees in order to develop the optimum complexity.
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | TA: Tim Atkin MW | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WS: Wine Spectator