Grapes were sourced from select vineyard sites in Robertson, McGregor, Stellenbosch, Paardeberg and Durbanville. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from 15-20 year old vines planted in soils with excellent moisture retention properties – mostly from red Karoo clay soils in the McGregor region and limestone-rich soils in Robertson, with a small portion coming from oakleaf soils in Durbanville, where the vines benefit from cooling Atlantic breezes. The Merlot is planted in Stellenbosch in soils of Tukulu, a form of decomposed granite with a high clay content. The vines are 17 years old. The Cabernet Franc hails from 20-year-old vines planted in decomposed granite soils on cooler south-facing slopes in Stellenbosch. The Petit Verdot grapes come from 17-year-old vines in the Paardeberg area, planted in clay-rich shale soils.
2017 was an exceptional vintage. The growing season was characterised by extremely dry conditions, with ideal warm days and cool nights and none of the typical summer heatwaves. The drought conditions meant that there was no rot or disease pressure and resulted in small berries and reduced yields. Grapes retained excellent natural acidity and the vintage produced wines of great freshness, concentration and flavor intensity.
The grapes were harvested in the cool early morning hours. They were then de-stemmed and crushed. The Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented for six days, with regular pumpovers. It was then pressed and racked to concrete tanks to complete alcoholic fermentation and undergo malolactic fermentation. The remainder of the components were fermented in stainless steel tanks until dry, with gentle pumpovers performed regularly. The wine was then pressed and returned to tank for malolactic fermentation and aging. Approximately one third of the blend was aged on French oak staves. The Cabernet Franc (2016 vintage) was aged in second and third-fill 225 and 300-litre French oak barrels for 16 months. The Petit Verdot (2014 vintage) was aged in second and third-fill French oak barrels for 36 months.