Waterkloof`s Peacock Ridge spreads its feathers with two new additions
Waterkloof Estate, known for its elegant wines that match the splendour of the location as well as the architectural magnificence of this ‘cellar in the sky’ in the Helderberg Winelands, has extended its great value, showy Peacock Ridge range with two brand new additions – a Chenin Blanc and Shiraz.
Named after a muster of wild peacock that adds to the natural beauty of this bio-dynamic wine farm on the outskirts of Somerset-West, the Peacock Ridge wines are rounder in character and encompass great generosity and a more fruit-forward style.
“The maiden Peacock Ridge Chenin Blanc 2011 and Peacock Ridge Shiraz 2011 complete a unique tier that reveals wines of compelling individuality at a bargain price,” shares winemaker Werner Engelbrecht, a traditionalist-by-heart.
He focuses his efforts on the vineyards to produce the best quality grapes and follows a minimalist approach in Waterkloof’s state-of-the-art gravitational cellar. Expertly designed, the cellar is both ultra-modern and geared for traditional winemaking practices such as open top, wooden fermenters for red wines; whole bunch pressing for white wines to guarantee gentle extraction, and the use of gravity to avoid excessive pumping of the wine.
The grapes for the Peacock Ridge Chenin Blanc 2011 stem from the foot of the Paardeberg in the Swartland region as well as the cooler ‘Golden Triangle’ of the Helderberg ward – the home of Waterkloof – where ideal soil compositions and cool sea breezes naturally intertwine to create premium wines.
“Old bush vine vineyards planted in Chenin-friendly soils have over time found their natural balance and ultimately it shows in our Peacock Ridge Chenin Blanc 2011,” adds Werner.
The grapes were de-stemmed before going into the press and the free run juice was separated from the skins immediately. In pursuit of a more individually styled wine, Werner relied on wild yeasts only and it took nine months to complete the natural fermentation process. 10% of the wine was fermented in old oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel and the wine was left on the secondary lees for one month before bottling.
Flashing its features in true peacock fashion, the wine allures with quince and stone fruit flavours which add complexity to the wine and a lovely texture is balanced by a bright acidity for freshness and structural finesse. The Peacock Ridge Chenin Blanc 2011 is extremely versatile and will go with a variety of dishes.
With the maiden Peacock Ridge Shiraz 2011, Werner and his team opted for vineyards sites – again stemming from the Swartland and famed ‘golden slopes’ of the Helderberg – that were able to produce a wine with notable elegance and freshness, allied to a fine texture. Deep red soils provide moisture and nutrients, which gives this Shiraz its supple, spicy characters.
“We looked for bush vine vineyards that are cultivated under dry-land conditions or where irrigation is kept to a minimum during the growing season. This helps to ensure that the vigorous growth is kept in check and produces wonderfully concentrated fruit,” explains Werner.
The grapes were fermented naturally with ‘wild yeasts’ in a combination of stainless steel and wooden fermenters, after which the wine was aged in oak for six months before it was bottled.
The Peacock Ridge Shiraz 2011 reveals hints of red and sour cherries as well as spice on the nose whilst ripe, juicy flavours are balanced by a fresh acidity. The wine is a sublime food partner and will complement venison and game dishes exceptionally well.
“The wine is more refined, reserved and complex as opposed to a robust, over-ripe blockbuster. Although there will always be those who prefer Barossa brawn to northern Rhône refinement, this was not what we set out to achieve with this maiden Shiraz,” adds Werner.
All the wines in the Waterkloof Peacock Ridge range – which also includes a Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc – are available at R59 per bottle, directly from the estate or at selected csupermarkets and wine outlets countrywide.