Sadie Family Skerpioen Chenin Blanc 2020
Swartland – St. Helena Bay
Winemaking and Maturation
After harvesting the grapes are placed in a cooling room to reduce the temperature, since the average temperatures are often 35 degrees or more – and pressing warm grapes comes with its own series of problems. We then do whole bunch pressing, a process that takes about 3 hours during which time there is a margin of settling of the juice in the collecting tank. The juice is then transferred to two old foudres for fermentation.
The natural fermentation can sometimes take up to 5 days or more to start. The fermentation may continue from 1 to 6 months and sometimes it only finishes in the following spring, by which time the malolactic fermentation would often have come to completion as well.
The wine is left in cask on the fermentation lees for the entire first 12 months and we bottle from the lees. Only about 50ppm of sulphur is added 2 weeks prior to bottling.
The 2020 Skerpioen displays the usual very saline and mineral qualities and some chamomile flower aromas; and with further development and time some wheat straw characteristics also appear – and all of that is filled in with gripping tannin and a firm acidity. The 2020 vintage is slightly more concentrated than the previous two vintages and is drinking well now, but will benefit much of about 5 years in bottle. The Skerpioen is arguably our white wine that is the most accessible in any vintage at an early stage.
Composition: Chenin Blanc