Rietvallei Esteanna Blend
Rietvallei EstÃ©anna 2010 is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It is a full-bodied, complex wine with excellent fruit and wood integration. Lots of work in the vineyard and minimal interference in the cellar allows this wine to express its terroir to the fullest. Deep, ruby red in colour. Expressive cherry and cassis aromas on the nose with delicate hints of violets. On the palate, the cherry flavours persist with just a hint of vanilla and cedar and a good lift of acidity. The tannins are sumptuous making this is a wellrounded wine which is showing beautifully in its youth but which has the structure and fruit to mature for a good 10+ years.
This Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 1998 on a northwest-facing slope with a very high concentration of river stone. The Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are both from younger vineyards planted in rich calcareous soil in 2003 and 2004 respectively. All these vineyards are trellised and under drip irrigation.
The selection process for this special cuvÃ©e already started with the identification of the specific vineyards and working at it with special care from pruning right through to harvesting ensuring a low yield (approximately 5 tons per hectare) and premium quality. The grapes were picked at optimum ripeness at 25 Â°Balling (Brix). After destemming and slight crushing the mash was taken to open concrete tanks for fermentation. During fermentation the temperature was regulated between 25-28ÂºC and the cap regularly wetted by the traditional manual punch-down method every two hours. This together with pumping-over of the must onto the skins allows the colour and flavour to be extracted very effectively. It took five days to ferment dry and was then left on the skins for another day before racking and pressing. After malolactic fermentation started the wine was transferred to new 300 litre French oak barrels where it was left to mature for 24 months. This process was the same for all three components making up this blend.