In the vineyard
Since 2003, we’ve been working with old bush vines in the Swartland that
produce this distinctive blend. 2018 was an exceptional vintage, despite a
smaller harvest and the third challenging dry season in a row. We harvest
early to preserve balance and capture the bright, natural acidity with which
these varieties ripen. Drought has been a fact of life in the Swartland over
the past few years, but these old vines have never been irrigated and have
therefore adapted their root structures to plunge many metres deep into the
granite subsoil. If there is moisture to be found, these vines will find it.
Smaller crops are a direct result of the drought and a subsequent shift in the
varietal make-up has meant that only Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and
Mourvèdre were incorporated in this vintage of Black Rock.
In the cellar
As is our custom, only hand harvesting was employed to bring the grapes from the vineyards to our cellar and from there, bunch sorting was carried out by hand. Grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed and moved to fermentation vats. A key feature of our process with this wine is that all varieties are co-fermented instead of fermenting separately and then blending. This allows for a much more harmonious and seamless blend. From here the wine was drawn off and skins lightly pressed. Barrel maturation lasted 18 months with most of the barrels ranging from 2nd to 6th fill. The wine matured on its primary lees for the duration of its time in barrel in order to build the complexity of the palate while practically eliminating the need for sulphur additions. As with all our red wines, this was not fined or filtered prior to bottling
Long slow cooked roasts of pork or lamb that may even be a little bit fatty, hard cheeses or beef