We recently held two media events for the launch of our 2013 vintage; at these events we tasted 5 vintages of our Cyclus White Blend 2009 to 2013 showcasing the blend’s aging potential.
Cyclus is made from Viognier, Chardonnay, Roussanne, Chenin Blanc and Semillon grapes. The grapes are harvested at 22˚ and 23˚ Balling, pressed as whole bunches and then naturally fermented in 500-litre oak barrels. 15 to 20% is fermented as whole bunches, which adds unique body and length to the wine. A proportion of this is fermented in amphorae made from clay on our farm and after fermentation the wine is kept on the lees for 12 months with regular battonage.
Here’s a short description of the overriding weather influences for the various vintages and some of the highlights, starting with our new release, our 2013 vintage:
A very cold long winter with good chilling units gave even budding. A cool dry summer followed and the result is a wine full of flavour with driven elegance and soft tannins.
A cold winter led to good budding although production was down due to high winds and rain. It was a wet spring during flowering but a dry hot January and February allowed for good ripening and concentrated flavours. The resulting mix of power and elegance is a flavour combination of the 2009 and 2010 vintages.
This vintage produced a much larger crop as a result of a warm dry start and then hot growing season. This was not a particularly great year for South African wines but we believe our biodynamic methods helped contribute to this elegant, well-rounded wine with long flavours and a good tannin structure.
This was one of our most challenging years, when we experience the worst wind at the most critical time – hurricane force winds for 2 days during flowering. We lost 50% of our crop so this vintage is particularly small. The wine is very concentrated and slightly greener on the palate than other years.
This year is known as a ‘stand-out’ year for South African, both red and white wines. We had a wet winter and a cool growing season giving an even set. The ripening process was slow and the berries were small but full of natural acidity, concentration and power
We often talk about how we farm the BioLOGIC® way – the fundamental reason for this is because we want to preserve the core fruit of the grape varieties for ageabilty and longevity. It was amazing to be able to taste these five vintages and to see how they are progressing. On the day, the stand out vintages were 2013, 2011 and the overall star 2009. We can’t wait to see these wines in 10 years!
We have a small quantity of our older vintages available exclusively to our Avondale Members Club members. For more information regarding this join the Avondale Members Club and receive first offers on exclusive and limited wines.