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2012: Impressions of the Vintage from Boschendal's Viticulturist

Aug 22nd 2012, 08:27

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July 2012
2012: Impressions of the Vintage from Boschendal's Viticulturist

2012 is without a doubt, a standout vintage – especially for the red wines.” Stephan Joubert, DGB Viticulturist

As vintages go, 2012 was a dream year in the Cape in terms of grape quality. Although drier than usual, a cool harvest with prolonged slow ripening and no problematic extremes set the tempo for a lengthy controlled crush, with fantastic balance and structure in both red and white wines.

DGB are fortunate to have longstanding close relationships with some 60 growers in key regions across the Cape winelands, and when the weather plays along producing top notch grapes in volume, our winemakers have all the ingredients to make great wines.

Hallmarks of the Growing Season
“We really listened to the vintage this year. We didn’t just do the same as previous years,” comments Boschendal white winemaker, Lizelle Gerber.

The 2012 season began with some trepidation with a sufficiently cold, but drier than usual winter.

The already dry sub-soils were cause for concern in dry land vineyards with no irrigation and for growers with limited water supply. A cool spring and early summer with less wind than in previous years helped to minimise evaporation, providing marginal moisture relief as the vines used less water. Some uneven flowering and berry set had to be managed and negated with green harvesting.

Grape Expectations
On the whole, both red and white varietals excelled, with text book ripeness at lower sugars translating into lower alcohols in the wines. Berries were healthy and smaller with great colour concentration in the red cultivars.

Elegant ‘European-centric’ red wines with amazing colour, freshness and purity of fruit are expected. Shiraz is the standout red cultivar with fantastic varietal expression and effortless tannins. Stellenbosch and Darling produced Pinotage with great flavour concentration and very promising potential.

Excellent white wines with good balance and varietal character are anticipated. Chenin Blanc was the star performer of the vintage with outstanding concentration and freshness, closely followed by outstanding Chardonnay, particularly from the cooler regions where perfect phenolic ripeness was achieved at lower sugars.

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