The Magna Carta – The Great Charter – was signed on June 15 1215 at Runnymede by King John of England as a peace treaty between the King and the Rebel Barons. Historically it is one of the most famous documents in the world.
The Steenberg Magna Carta 2015 was launched recently on the Estate. Winemaker JD Pretorius has created in this wine a real expression, a snapshot, of the terroir of the Estate. The weather of the vintage which was a long cool one with slow ripening and much flavour in the grapes. The 60% Chardonnay and 40% Sauvignon Blanc were harvested from 10 to 20-year-old vineyards planted on Clovelly, Oakleaf and Avalon soils, and were vinified separately.
Eighteen hours of skin contact was allowed with the Sauvignon Blanc. The Semillon grapes are allowed to remain on the vine until they are truly fully ripe. Once the juice is racked clean, the juice goes to 500 and 600 litre French oak barrels until fermented dry, which takes about two weeks, and then has a further 6 weeks’ maturation with regular bâtonnage which builds up the mid palate and adds to the creamy mouthfeel of the wine. See how bâtonnage is done – click here.
After the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon is blended, the wine is returned to French oak barrels, 500 and 600 litres in size. 30% of them were new, with 20% each of second third and fourth fill barrels.
The wine was prepared for bottling at the end of November 2015.
It looks like
Appropriately bottled under cork in a Bordeaux shaped bottle. In the glass it is a gem bright pale golden straw with amber green flashes.
It smells like
Not that we have much opportunity of sniffing blackcurrant leaves, but I remember the smell from happy times picking them on the Isle of Man way back when. There are whiff of sweet tropical lime squeezed in your hand, windfall oranges and an undertow of spice midst the tropical fruits.
It tastes like
Pour it and taste as it unravels its complexity. Creamy, delicate use of oak, zippy passion fruit acidity, a generosity of ripe stone and tropical fruits. Brilliant aftertaste which just keeps on giving.
It’s good with
This wine is really built for food and can match with some really bright flavours. And a perfect bright flavour is a bowl of Snoek Paté with Spicy Stewed Apricots by Anina Meyer. Click here for her recipe.
Listen to my 60 second Fine Music Radio podcast – CLICK HERE
Read more about Steenberg Vineyards, Hotel and buy their wines online – CLICK HERE