The Drift Estate
It isn’t big – about half an hectare. When we ripped the soil in preparation for planting, I walked all over this small piece of land investigating the stones that had come to the surface and trying to read into the soil because I wasn’t sure what I should plant into it.
After a few years, when we finally got the vines up onto the cordon wire, they struggled, looking forlorn and unhappy. We babysat them, nursing them along, worried they didn’t like their new home. However, their roots slowly found a home in the soil and the vines started standing prouder and stronger.
It took ten long years before we allowed a crop to hang and ripen fully. We handled the grapes the way we handle all our grapes, with extreme care and love. The intense colour of the juice was a good sign, but it wasn’t until malolactic fermentation had finished; after the wine had been resting in barrel for two months that we realised we had something truly magnificent.
This is a once in a lifetime vineyard – the confluence of so many factors, all coming together to make magic happen.
The wine is densely purple in color. It’s a full-on nose, packed with concentrated black types of fruit like mulberry and ridiculously ripe cherry. But it’s the spice and herbaciousness that marks this wine as different. 2015, being a cool year on The Drift, means the fynbos and garden herbs are central, but in the background like good double bass player should be. This allows the wine to show an explosion of dark, black, inky fruit on the palate. The wine is rich, but fresh, with clean, refreshing acidity and soft, luscious tannins. If cellared correctly this vintage will live for twenty years easily, but is drinking very well now because of the softness of the wine crafting.
• Country: South Africa
• Region: Overberg Highlands
• Producer: The Drift Estate
• Winemaker: Bruce Jack
• Type: Still Red
• Grape: Barbera
• Vintage: 2017