Complex and luscious, estate-grown Riesling straw wine, made from naturally dried grapes – Aurum offers intensely concentrated fruit, finely balanced by a refreshing, cleansing acidity.
Fruit quality proved to be excellent and cropping levels were encouraging, this in spite of drought conditions being the talk of the day. Fortunately, our Hemel-en-Aarde region is blessed with a distinctive micro-climate which defied the predictors of poor expectations. The few rain showers received during the vintage was a positive experience and added to the calibre of the vintage.
A ton of grapes are handpicked at base wine ripeness and individual bunches hung indoors, to be dried for around 120 days. This retains and concentrates natural acidity in line with grape sugars. Once raisoned, the berries contain only a third of the original liquid volume. The bunches are then hand destemmed, with some stems included in the crush, assisting juice flow during pressing.
The juice is slowly liberated from the raisons, during a 24-hour pressing cycle,
following a few days’ skin fermentation. Fermentation is relatively cool and takes up to a month. A mere 70 litres are recovered, which is matured in old oak for 18 months and bottled with only a light filtration.
Alcohol: 9.27 vol%
Total Acidity: 10.3g/l
Residual Sugar: 382.0 g/l
Total SO2: 170 mg/l
Intensely concentrated and waxy, aromatics of orange peel, honeyed stone fruit,
quince, and tangy apricot are layered with hints of kerosene, baking spice and
candied limes. On the palate it’s lusciously sweet, the layers of acid build and
crescendo, coming back in waves, the fruit buoyant and intense, yet finely
balanced. There’s a musicality to the way the sensations and flavours link and
harmonise, the honeyed fruit echoing long after, tailing out into a seemingly
endless finish. The cleansing, appetising acidity instantly refreshes the palate.
Worth its weight in gold, Aurum 2019 will pair exceptionally with a host of desserts as well as savoury dishes such as cheese and foie gras. Enjoy now, or cellar as the wine will improve and develop with age.