Sweet and fortified wines report Winemag 2020 – 91
Veritas Awards 2018 – Bronze Award
Tim Atkin 2016 SA Review – 90 point rating
This unique wine is made exclusively from the oldest Muscadel (Muscat de Frontignan) vines in South Africa, planted on Rietvallei Estate in 1908 by the second generation of the Burger family. The Muscadel is in the form of bush vines and consists of approximately a quarter of a hectare. At 103 years of age (at picking this specific vintage) these bush vines have an extremely low yield, resulting in excellent fruit concentration.
This wine is still made according to the original Burger family recipe as passed down through the generations since 1864. Most of the traditional wine making techniques are also still followed to this day for this special wine, like the fermentation in open concrete tanks; the wetting of the cap by manual punch down every two hours during skin contact and brief fermentation; and finally the use of a hand operated basket press. You could really say that this wine is hand made.
The bush vines were harvested by hand at 28 °Balling (Brix), and after slight crushing taken to open concrete fermentation tanks. Here it was kept on the skins for two days for colour and flavour extraction. During this time the mash was worked every two hours by means of manual punch down and pump-overs. On day three the must naturally started fermenting and fortification with pure wine spirits was done on the skins. Extra skin contact was then allowed for another two days before racking and pressing. The must was then left on its primary fermentation lees for six months after which it was racked again and allowed to further tank mature for 12 months on the fine lease before bottling. This maturation is essential for the marriage of the spirits and the wine.
THE WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS
Deep red in colour, full-bodied, rich, yet gentle. A floral bouquet comes through on the nose, with typical raisiny sweetness and an intense flavour that lingers on the palate and follows through on the aftertaste while the acidity compliments and balances the sweetness. Additional bottle maturation gives excellent results.
FOOD PAIRING & SERVING SUGGESTION:
Pair with noble cheeses and almost any desert…delicious with rich chocolate or strawberries & ice cream. Serve at room temperature (18°C). Enjoy as an aperitif or as a winter warmer in front of the fireplace on a chilly evening.
Residual Sugar: 184 g/l
Alcohol: 15.00 %
Acidity: 5.7 g/l
VA: 0.31 g/l
Total Extract: 203 g/l
Total SO2: 101 mg/l
Free SO2: 7 mg/l
Bottle volume: 375ml
Case size: 6 x 375ml
Pallet size: 108 x 6 x 750ml
Case weight: 6.12 kg
Closure: Natural Cork