92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 3% Merlot. 63% new oak, medium toast and house toast, very fine grain, 5 years open seasoning.
A wine of great precision and intensity from the first taste to the persistent finish. With evident complexity, exceptional balance and a well-defined structure, this is a wine that will reward patient cellaring while offering endless enjoyment now.
400m above sea level, 35% slope. West-facing decomposed granite soils with North-South row orientation on a terraced slope for uninterrupted sunlight interception. Single clone Cabernet Sauvignon CS1, 17 years old, on Richter 99 rootstock. Merlot clone MO347 and Malbec clone M279 both on Richter 99 rootstock.
2015 saw the driest growing conditions and subsequently the earliest harvest at Tokara in many years. The main Cabernet Sauvignon portion of the wine was harvested on the 5th of March 2015 at 26° Balling, the Merlot on the 3rd of February at 24.6° Balling and the Malbec on the 24th of February at 24.4° Balling. It was one of the smallest crops on record and on average had harvest dates that were two weeks earlier than previous years. Weather in August 2014 was warm and led to earlier bud-break. This was followed by a warm and windy summer that kept growth under control and accelerated ripening by two weeks. The dry conditions also helped with very good grape health at harvest. The preceding winter was cold and wet and allowed for sufficient accumulation of cold units and therefore a full and even breaking of dormancy. There was an absence of heat spikes in the Stellenbosch region and a much cooler February that allowed for ideal ripening. Lower night temperatures contributed to excellent colour and flavour in all of our red grapes. The temperatures warmed up a little in March allowing for the perfect ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon especially.
Hand harvested into 15 kilogram lug boxes and using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images to assist in picking areas of homogenous ripening.
Placed in a cold room overnight and sorted twice on a Pellenc Mechanical sorter and subsequent individual berry sorting on a vibrating table. Gravity fed directly to tank where 30% whole and 70% crushed berries underwent a four day cold maceration. Whole berry fermentation results in red berry fruit characteristics that temper the black berry characteristics of regular ferments resulting in a full spectrum of flavours. Natural fermentation with indigenous yeasts with open pump overs and three complete delestages during fermentation. Fermented dry on skins with up to one week post fermentation maceration. Basket pressed using only the free run juice for TELOS. All press fractions aged separately. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrel then racked, sulphured and returned to barrel for 22 months. Three rackings during ageing with blending occurring 4 months before bottling. Number of bottles available: 1000