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Village Pinot Noir 2020
Paul Cluver
Region: Elgin
Country:South Africa
Awards

John Platter 2021-4 starsTop 100 SA WINE – 2021m, double silver
Tasting Notes

Brilliant ruby in the glass. Aromas of red plum, licorice, cherry and spice predominate. On the palate, this is mid-weight, with silky tannins. Flavours of pomegranate, red plum, tart raspberry and spice are balanced by lifted acidity. A long, fruit-driven finish, with a hint of oak vanilla. Lightly chill for evening sipping, or serve with lamb burgers or sausage-stuffed portobellos.
Varieties

Pinot Noir—chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France— is grown around the world, mostly in cooler climates. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly-packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. Thin skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lend Pinot to producing mostly lightly-coloured, medium-bodied and low-tannin wines that can often go through phases of uneven and unpredictable aging. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, Pinot has the potential to develop more vegetal and earthy aromas that can contribute to complexity. Particularly suited to cooler climates, the Elgin Valley has shown itself to be quite hospitable to this finicky cultivar.
Region

Elgin is the coolest growing region in South Africa, with temperatures rarely rising above 30°C during the growing season. With only 800 ha. under vine, it is also one of the smallest and least planted, as the rocky terrain, cool temperatures and low rainfall make growing grapes a challenging endeavour. Sitting amongst the Hottentot-Holland mountain range, the soils are a mixture of sandstone, decomposed shale, gravel and clay. Due to the precipitous diurnal temperature drops, viticulturists have eschewed the traditional red Bordeaux varieties favoured throughout most of South Africa, planting instead delicate Pinot Noir and altitude-loving Syrah. The most widely-planted white is Sauvignon Blanc, but the future of the region lies in Chardonnay, with world class examples being crafted. Riesling plantings are increasing and showing tremendous promise. Elgin wines tend to be high in acidity, with evolved flavours, as the long hang times allow full phenol development.
Vineyard

The De Rust Estate vineyards of Paul Cluver Family Wines sit on an inland mountain plateau, nestled in the UNESCO Koelberg Biosphere Preserve. Rising between 400-660 masl., they are a mix of the famed Bokkeveld Shale (sandstone rich with invertebrate fossils, clay and loam) and Fericrete gravel (rich in iron oxides). Subject to early morning mists, cool evenings, low rainfall and long sunlight hours, yields are small but high in quality. The vineyards are farmed sustainably, without the use of pesticides and with as little human footprint as possible.
Winemaking

Hand-selected bunches are further sorted rigorously by hand before crushing. Fermented in a combination of large oak vats, stainless steel and French oak barrels, the juice is cold macerated for a few days. During the long fermentation, the cap is given daily punchdowns. The wines are blended and aged in partially-matured French oak for 9 months prior to release.

Wine Type: Red

Variety: Pinot Noir

Classification: AOC

Orientation: North west – South east

Appellation: N/A

Gradient: Flat

Soil: Clay

Farming Practices: Sustainable, no use of pesticides

Residual Sugar: 2,4 g/l

Alcohol: 13

Malolactic: Yes

Botte Size: 750 ml

Acidity: 5,3 g/l

Other Practices: Sustainable