Gabriëlskloof is a beautiful wine estate located near Bot River in the Overberg region east of Cape Town. It was purchased in 2001 by Bernhard Heyns, who had been on the lookout for the ideal place to plant vines. After planting, his first vintage was in 2009. We felt compelled to add Gabriëlskloof to our list because Peter-Allan Finlayson, Bernhard’s son in law, took over as winemaker from the 2015 vintage. The farm has 300 hectares, with 68 hectares planted to vines. The climate is cool with maritime influences coming from Walker Bay. The vineyards are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future.
The grapes are sourced from seven different vineyards, planted on sandstone and shale soils, which are very tough and rocky. The altitude is an average of 200 metres above sea level and the vineyards are north-facing.Trellising is standard three-tier system. They are naturally low yielding vineyards, producing on average six tonnes per hectare.
2015 was an excellent vintage. A very cold and wet winter was followed by a moderate and dry summer. This permitted advanced flavour development at low sugar levels. The harvest took place during the month of February.
The fruit was partially whole bunch pressed and the rest destemmed before crushing. One third was naturally fermented, and then combined where all the juices fermented and matured together in stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation was blocked to retain acidity. The wine was aged on its gross lees until bottling in July 2015.
ABV 12.5%; Residual Sugar 2.9g/L; Acidity 6.8g/L; Wine pH 3.29
This wine shows welcoming green melon and kiwi on the nose, evolving into herbaceous notes of nettle and lemon grass, and ending with a white floral bouquet. These aromas follow through on the palate, which is mouth filling and rich with great balance.