On Billy Hughes’s Wine Estate Kasteelsig on the Old Piketberg Road in Malmesbury the grapes are organically farmed. The vineyards are all dry land farmed which means they receive no supplementary irrigation at all. No herbicides and no artificial fertilisers are used. Billy prepares vast amounts of compost which he ferments and divides into windrows which are able to be cooled by breezes. Quite a sight.
Billy had both white and red wine grapes on his farm. The white wine was certified organic from the 2013 vintage, and the red of 2013, also organically certified, will have to wait until that vintage is released.
The grape blend for the Nativo Red Blend 2009 is made up of 56% Shiraz, 16% Grenache, 13% Merlot, 9% Mourvèdre and 6% Pinotage. The wines are separately vinified after hand harvesting when the grapes reach phenolic ripeness. The grapes are cold soaked for four days in small open top fermenters. Fermentation takes place using natural vineyard yeasts, with frequent punch downs and then a final on skin maceration of four days before the wine is pressed. Malolactic fermentation takes place in 225 litre French oak barrels. Further barrel maturation takes place for 8 months before blending takes place and the wine is then matured complete for a further four months.
It looks like
Bottled in a Burgundy shaped bottle with an enchanting white label that looks like a piece of origami. In the glass it is an opaque bloodplum red, which pales out to a rich garnet at the rim.
It smells like
A generosity of berries and wet river stones. Notes of oak and vanilla.
It tastes like
Full and round from entry. Roadside brambles and blackberries and Satsuma plums. Lovely balance with silky tannins in the fruit of the aftertaste.
It’s good with
With all its fruit and spice, this is a stunning food wine. Goes well with the Moroccan Tagines with all their dates, ranges and Ras el Hanout spices. Alida Ryder’s Sticky Apricot Chicken begs for this wine. Click here for her recipe.
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