Blanc de Mer 2023
Blanc de Mer offers more than it portrays and its Riesling pedigree boasts lots of strong personality. It is an unusual blend from the Cape, where Riesling is virtually unknown as a blending partner. The name Blanc de Mer translates to ‘white of the sea’. Inspired by the estate’s close proximity to Walker Bay, where the Southern Right whales come to calve during the late winter months until the end of spring.
52% Riesling, 29% Viognier, 19% Chardonnay
Moderate and mild winter weather was experienced with an average rainfall, which continued into spring and early summer. These conditions, ideal for slow and even ripening, were interrupted during the middle of December, with the arrival of some refreshing showers. January saw a continuation of dry, cool conditions, coinciding neatly with an earlier maturity of those cultivars that usually ripen first. During the third week of February however, a massive 80mm downpour set the tone for the rest of the vintage. By the last day of picking, 240mm had fallen since the start of harvest. Rigorous selection of only the ripe and healthy bunches proved critical. Most vineyards cropped lower than the long-term average, largely due to adverse flowering conditions.
While estate-grown Riesling forms the majority of this unique blend, this year Viognier from a well-established vineyard in Paarl was also incorporated. The fruit arrived ripe and healthy – beautifully complementing the steely acidity of our own grapes. All bunches were fully destemmed before pressing and were allowed a cool fermentation in stainless steel. A portion of whole-bunch pressed Chardonnay, also seeing no oak, completed the blend. The wine was bottled in June 2023.
Alcohol: 13.35 vol%
Total Acidity: 6.3 g/l
Residual Sugar: 4.2 g/l
Volatile Acidity: 0.41 g/L
Total So2: 109 mg/L
Suitable for Vegans
Upon opening a bottle, exotic aromas of white peach, dried apricots, jasmine and ripe litchis fill the nose. Floral and aromatic, the wine extends to form an impression of pineapple flesh, syrupy green figs, quince. An energetic acidity profile is well balanced and completed by a rich palate of fruity sweetness. The experience is enticing and rounded, with a focussed finish driven by saline elements. As fresh as a sea breeze now, but will develop a layered complexity with time in the bottle.
Effortless drinking qualities make the Blanc de Mer a popular aperitif, however it’s suitability to fresh seafood is unmatched – think Thai red prawn curry, bouillabaisse or simply oysters. The wine will also complement any picnic basket, packed for a whale watching excursion around the world renowned Walker Bay.