WINTERS DRIFT RAISE THE BAR WITH THE RELEASE OF THEIR NEW VINTAGE WINES
Winters Drift wines, grown on the historic Glen Elgin farm in the cool-climate Elgin Valley, have raised the bar with the release of the 2014 vintage of their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Seeking enhanced quality all the way from the vineyard to the cellar, entailing meticulous vineyard management to grow the best fruit, scrupulous fruit selection, and delicate nurturing in the cellar, has resulted in a superior range of Winters Drift wines. The limited release 2014 Winters Drift Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are appropriately showcased in sophisticated new packaging to reflect the calibre of the wines.
WINTERS DRIFT CHARDONNAY 2014
In the vineyard and the cellar: The Chardonnay vineyards have a cool south-facing aspect and are 295m above sea level. The soils are deep and well drained with a high water retention capacity. Rigorous viticultural practices and careful fruit selection produced a lower yield of concentrated fruit. 60% of the final blend went through natural fermentation in 300-litre new French oak barrels and 70% of the barrel component went through malolactic fermentation. The other 40% of the final blend was kept in stainless steel tanks where it was inoculated with selected yeast. The unwooded component was 100% free-run juice, with high natural acidity to ensure an elegant final blend. After 9 months the wooded and unwooded components were blended together and kept for another month in stainless steel tanks to ensure optimum integration before bottling. The alcohol on the Chardonnay has been reduced from 14 to 13.5%.
Tasting Notes: The expressive nose displays complex aromas of orange rind, toasty brioche, buttery yellow fruit, and roasted hazelnuts as well as marzipan and lime flower notes. On the palate the wine’s crystalline acidity and citrus notes perfectly balance the richness and well‐integrated oak. Bold and complex yet soft and creamy; a delicious combination of fruit and hazelnut notes linger on the finish.
Food suggestions: Delicious as an aperitif or enjoy with a spicy, limey ceviche of fresh fish, or with an endive salad with fresh walnuts, apples and shallots dressed in walnut oil vinaigrette.
Ageing: The wine will drink best over the next 3-5 years.
Retail price: The Winters Drift Chardonnay 2014 is available nationally and retails at ±R145.
WINTERS DRIFT PINOT NOIR 2014
In the vineyard and the cellar: The Pinot Noir vineyards have a cool south-facing aspect and are 310m above sea level. The soils are deep and well drained with a high water retention capacity. Meticulous vineyard management rigorous fruit selection produced a lower yield of concentrated fruit. In the cellar the grapes were divided into three different batches to offer better blending options. For 11 months the wine was kept in 300-litre first and second-fill French oak barrels where 100% natural fermentation took place. Before bottling the wine was filtered to ensure a clean, elegant wine. The alcohol on the Pinot Noir has been reduced from 13.5 to 13%.
Tasting Notes: The nose delivers an abundance of black cherries and violets with subtle notes of smoky oak and earthiness. On the palate a fine grip of savory smooth Pinot Noir tannins and well-integrated oak complements the bright cherry acidity of the wine, and delicately smoked cherries linger on the aftertaste.
Food suggestions: This medium-bodied wine with fine tannins and good acidity pairs well with charcuterie, pâtés and terrines, and perfectly balances richer dishes of venison and game birds.
Ageing: The wine will drink well over the next 5 years or more.
Serving: Cool the wine down to 16-18 ⁰C before serving.
Awards: At the inaugural 2015 Sommelier Selection Awards the Winters Drift Pinot Noir won an award in the Elegant and Classy Reds category.
Retail price: The Winters Drift Pinot Noir 2014 is available nationally and retails at ±R160.
OTHER WINTERS DRIFT WINES
A Winters Drift Rhône-style red blend will follow within a year or two.
51 MILES WINES
Winters Drift recently launched a new range of wines called 51 Miles including a Sauvignon Blanc and an Unwooded Chardonnay with a cool-climate red blend to follow in 2016. The 51 Miles wines are only available for tasting and purchase at the Tasting Station in Elgin and via online sales on the website at R80 for the Sauvignon Blanc and R85 for the Unwooded Chardonnay. The name 51 Miles refers to the distance from the Winters Drift Tasting Station, housed in the historic Elgin Station building, to Cape Town. The Elgin Station signboard on the platform still proudly displays the words ‘51 MILES TO CAPE TOWN’.
VINEYARDS AND CELLAR
The Winters Drift wines are grown on the historic Glen Elgin farm which was bequeathed to the Molteno Brothers Trust, with profits to be used for the furtherance of ‘educational, cultural and charitable interests’. The vineyards are meticulously cared for by viticulturist Gerhard Bruwer and the wines are made by the inimitable Koen Roose at his boutique Spioenkop cellar in Elgin.
WINTERS DRIFT TASTING STATION
All the wines are available for tasting and purchase at the Winters Drift Tasting Station, housed in the historic Elgin Station building. The original railway line is still operational today, and you might be lucky enough to see one of the grain-laden trains that trundle past on a daily basis, faithfully retaining the atmosphere of the hustle and bustle of the Elgin Station in its heyday.
Opening hours and contact details:
Tuesday to Friday: 9am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday and Monday: By appointment only