The Waterkloof Estate was founded in 2004, ending Paul Boutinot’s persistent and uncompromising 10 year search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. Located on the south-facing slopes of Schapenberg Hill near Somerset in the Stellenbosch district of the Western Cape’s Coastal Region, Waterkloof shares its magnificent Atlantic views with free-roaming peacocks and other natural fauna and flora attracted to this haven. Certified by Demeter in 2015, their vineyards are of only a few in the Cape to boast official biodynamic approval and status. The estate has 56 hectares under vine and Tim Atkin’s Cape Classification currently ranks Waterkloof as 5th Growth level. With production around 165,000 bottles per year, Waterkloof make “honest wines” from their unique biodynamic coastal site. Respect for nature, traditional winemaking practices and minimal intervention are all key to their success.
The Waterkloof portfolio consists of: Waterkloof, Circumstance, Circle of Life, Seriously Cool and False Bay.
Working with nature allows us to experience its natural cycle every year. Vines awaken from their rest in spring, growing and producing fruit until the next winter when they go to sleep again. This cycle is also evident through the biodynamic practices that we follow on Waterkloof. Circle of Life is inspired by this cycle that exists not only on Waterkloof, but life in general. Our focus over the last ten years, has been to get a better understanding of Waterkloof and the individual characters of its vineyards. We discovered that vineyards from different parts of Waterkloof produced wines that were stylistically very different. Through the Circumstance wines, we have always tried to allow these vineyards to express there individuality. Conversely, our objective with Circle of Life has been to produce two blends which encapsulate all the varying terroir characteristics and grape varietals within Waterkloof. Thus, rather than being constrained by a traditional blending style, for example a Bordeaux or Rhone blend, we have instead produced two wines that are not driven by varietal or a specific parcel of the vineyard, but are wines that reflects the totality, philosophy and specificity of Waterkloof.
Waterkloof mainly rely on tasting the grapes to determine the optimum stage of flavour development. Grapes are picked early in the morning when they are still cool, which helps to preserve the flavours. Extracting juice from the grapes is achieved through pressing the whole bunches. This is the most delicate way to extract the juice. After a settling period of 24 hours, a large proportion of the juice was destined for co-fermentation. That is to say, they determined a blend of sauvignon and chenin prior to fermentation and transferred the majority into old 600 litre barrels, with the balance going into stainless steel tanks. Ultimately, this allowed for a better integrated and more complete end product. After a very long, natural yeast fermentation of seven months, the wine was left on the primary lees for a further four months. This helped to add more complexity and weight to the palate. The wine was then racked to fermentation tank and the final blend was made up, with the addition of further Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin and Semillon being made to the co-fermented component. The wine was then bottled in January 2012. The wine is made as naturally as possible, with no additions of acids or enzymes allowed. The final varietal breakdown consists of Sauvignon Blanc 70%, Chenin Blanc 25%, Chardonnay 3% and Semillon 2%.
Appealing and serious on the nose towards the citrusy end of the spectrum with a firm, flinty thing going on as well. The palate retains that citrusy focus which is an absolute delight. This vintage assures this wine's place amongst the very best of South Africa's finest comtemporary white blends.
- Additional Information
Name Waterkloof Circle of Life White Country South Africa Region Stellenbosch ABV% 13.5% Vintage 2013 Grape Variety 69% Sauvignon Blanc, 33% Chenin Blanc, 4% Chardonnay, 3% Semillon Size 750ml Dietary Information Suitable for Vegetarians, Suitable for Vegans, Biodynamic