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 better acidity and a balanced flavour concentration with a lovely elegance which bodes well for quality. Zippy Acidity from vine stress was less than in 2018’s harsh Chenin vintage and less time was needed on skins in 2019, making a more eased out palate of great balance and subtle texture.
VINEYARDS AND SOILS:
The Granietsteen Chenin blanc vineyard is a single demarcated vineyard in Southern Stellenbosch, Lower Hedlerberg area close to Firgrove. On the South East slope of Sinai Hill, nearby False Bay shore at 4km away. Dry farmed old Bushvines, planted in 1978 by Koos & Pieter (Snr.) Bredell. Soils here are decomposed granite sand at top with coarse granite in subsoils . Also rare being in this Maritime macro climate for Cape Chenin. An unique site specific salinity and flavour.
Keeping it gentle in the cellar. All grapes are handpicked in small lugboxes. Focus to slowly and naturally extract the unique flavours from the grapes’ skins prior to fermentation. 75% was Destemmed into tank, left on skins in low temperate and a healthy inert condition for 4 nights before being basket pressed, naturally settled out the rough fragments/lees overnight then put into old French Oak barrels (4th Fill, 400’s and 225’5) to spontaneously ferment in barrel over a long slow period till bone dry. Left on its lees for 9 months in barrel. 25% portion was wholecluster basket pressed at harvest, no skin time, and fermented and aged seperately in old french oak as well, on its lees.
Only 1044 bottles produced
5 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.”