Climate wise we experienced more rain than the preceding 3 year drought, at stranger times during vineyard growth phases. Still the peak of the droughts effect was felt. Rain not increasing yeild, but which accelerated vegatative growth and lowered the waterstress from previous vintages. Then even more cool temperatures were experienced during ripening than previous vintages and this had a major positive effect on slowing down processes in the vine at crucial times. Very little warm to hot days during January and early Feb, when Sinai Hill area is at its peak for ripening, gave excitement towards the taste of the berries. Smaller berries again, but with great acidity and earlier flavour concentrations with a lovely balance and elegance which bodes well for quality. The vines also seemed more relieved from the past few years’ drought in the post harvest phase. Slightly less acidity than the phenomenal ’18 vintage of Feniks, but with a different depth.
VINEYARDS AND SOILS:
The Féniks Pinotage vineyard is a single demarcated vineyard in Southern Stellenbosch, Lower Hedlerberg area close to Firgrove. On the front foot of the Granite Sinai Hill, nearby False Bay shore at 3.5km away. Dry farmed Bushvines, planted in 1976 by Koos & Pieter Bredell on these sandy silica rich granite well drained soils. A rare combination for Pinotage which usually is planted more on clay mountain slopes or more fertile soils. Also rare being in a Maritime macro climate.
Keeping it gentle in the cellar. All grapes are handpicked in small lugboxes. A blend between separate fermentations, all by natural occurring yeast from the vineyard itself. 70% stems intact with the grapes, crushed and foot trotted, and the rest destemmed. No punch downs. Working on delaying the fermentation time naturally. Submerged cap and slow extraction. Spontaneous fermentation that lasted almost 2 weeks. Basket pressed directly to barrel and aged on its lees for 11 months in old (5th fill) french oak barrels. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. Released April 2020.
Only 864 bottles produced
4 in stock
Bernhard Bredell is one of the most exciting new winemakers on the scene with only three vintages behind his back under the Scions of Sinai label. A familial history spanning as far as 160 years back in the Helderberg “sub-region” of Stellenbosch he hopes to reclaim his family roots, producing wine from vineyards planted by his ancestors. He’s currently operates in a small cellar on Klein Helderberg farm built in 1850 by his great-grandfather.
“I believe wine’making’ can become obsolete when your vineyards are balanced within their own terroir and they express their site authentically with purity in the grapes, that way it becomes much more a ‘Guidance’ process in the cellar for me, rather than a ‘Making’ process. Being gentle, respecting the specific conditions of the vineyards and having patience in the winery unlocks a special terroir purity for me. The vineyards have done all the challenging work already and posses their own uniqueness in the final grapes, the winemaking should just curate the best of that all the way into the bottle.”