Tesselaarsdal, Pinot Noir 750ml 2016South Africa, Walker Bay
The wine has a lovely, fine, bright sour red berry character and even hints of violets on the nose. It has a more lifted acidity and tightness, bright and elegant start to finish with a hardening line of minerality placing it more in the old-world than the new. It is distinctly feminine and elegant with a lovely dusting of grape tannins.
2016 was another unusually early and short harvest - almost exactly the same timing as 2015. But as is wonderfully the case with nature, the character of the 2016's is surprisingly different to the 2015's. For the winelands in general, the story was of excessive heat and extreme dryness. But this was not the case for our appellation, the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Close proximity to the cool South Atlantic kept the maximum temperatures in line and we also benefitted from timely rain from the southeast, which seldom reaches the warmer inland areas.
January was quite a bit warmer than our long-term average (the same as for 1998 and 2011) but it was not drier than average. And the crucial month of February was wetter than average without being warmer - as was March. Our main dam was almost full at the end of harvest. A relatively warm December, followed by a hot January was probably the main factor in making 2016 an early year. High humidity did create some anxiety - less over downy mildew - more over oidium - so it will be remembered as a more challenging year than 2015, but the resulting wines for the classicists and purists will perhaps be seen as more typical of our style.
Alc: 13.8% TA: 6.3 pH: 3.38 RS: 1.8
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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