Vintage / 2020

Showing all 20 results

BLANKbottle “Retirement @ 65” 2020

R310.01 inc. VAT
"In June 2014, I arrived at a farm in Darling where I was met by a very grumpy farmer. And for good reason I soon learnt. I had bought bits of grapes from the farmer during that year’s harvest (which all turned out really promising) and was doing my annual post-harvest farm visit with a fresh barrel sample for the farmer to taste. One of his grape clients had previously persuaded him to farm a little Cinsaut vineyard by method of minimum intervention. Not in an organic kind of a way, but more towards a 300% leave-the- vineyard-to-be kind of way. To make a long story short, due to many contributing factors, all the grapes of this little Cinsaut vineyard ended up going to the pigs and he was blaming his minimum intervention 300% leave-the-vineyard-to-be client for all of this. To make matters worse, for the 62 years prior to this, the vineyard hardly produced grapes sufficient to produce wine with. You see, his grandfather planted the vineyard in 1951 and had still used a horse to plough the land. The vineyard is on the edge of the mountain in a little valley and the only food source around. So as the berries accumulated sugar, the birds would hop from bunch to bunch pricking the berries with their beaks, causing them to rot. And by the time the grapes ripened there weren’t much left. Now things like this interest me. I asked him if we could give it one more try. He reluctantly agreed on the basis that he farms the block the way he believes one should. I, in turn, agreed to buy bird nets to cover the vines and we had a deal. So mid 2014 the vines were neatly pruned and he took care of the weeds. That spring, after bud break, the first soft green shoots appeared. Everything looked good! Then, one Sunday afternoon, I received a photo on whatsapp. It was the vineyard in question with about 20 odd sheep feeding in the vineyard and no sign of the newly formed soft shoots - only brown stumps remaining as the vineyard celebrated it’s 64th birthday. Late that Friday night his sheep had broken through the fence and ate everything green in colour. So there went another crop and the farmer got even more despondent. But he didn't give up and so, in June 2015, he raised the fence. In early November we covered the whole vineyard in bird nets. Finally, in February 2016 (for the first time in 65 years!) the vineyard survived the onslaught of wild animals roaming the hillsides of Darling and we picked a very small, but healthy, crop." Producer's note

BLANKbottle 1 Click off 2020

R365.00 inc. VAT
This Pinot Noir, produced from a small vineyard situated just over 12 kilometres of Kleinmond. There is significant improvement – as the name suggests things are “1 click off”, whereas previously it was “2 clicks off”. When we tasted this, we were very impressed by the purity of Pinot fruit and balance of the wine. While watching this space for the wine once Pieter is 100% happy with the result, we highly recommend the 2020 1 Click Off. Only one barrel was made so availability is very limited.

BLANKbottle Aasvoel 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"He is the buyer for this little vineyard but the 2014 crop was huge and his tanks were full. I bought what grapes he had left and the wine turned out to be fantastic! So obviously I would love to buy some every year, but the production of a normal year is not high enough to accommodate another buyer. So I became an Aasvoel - an Afrikaans word for a ”vulture” - sitting on a pole, watching the vineyard. If something falls off the truck, I pick it up (figuratively speaking of course!). In other words, if it is a high production year, I get some grapes. In 2015 I got nothing, 2016 and 2017 came and went and I was still sitting on the pole - eagerly watching. And then in harvest 2018 it came: the call “do you want to make another Aasvoel?” Total production 500 bottles - 100% Stellenbosch Verdelho. " Producer's note

BLANKbottle Boberg 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"Moment of Silence predominantly comes from a farm in Wellington called Twyfeling. Boberg is situated on a farm right next to Twyfeling and literally looks onto the vineyards of Twyfeling. Now Twyfeling was owned by my direct family seven generations ago. So on the label it shows 7 generations with Boberg overlooking all seven generations of the Hauptfleisch family. 2015 was the first year that I bought the grapes from this Vineyard. The Farmer calls the vineyard BOBERG, which means “on top of the Mountain”. It was a neglected little vineyard, old bush vines with no irrigation. The farmer identified it as a site with potential and started with a restoration process. The vineyard grows in decomposed granitic soil in Wellington. The site is cooler than the others in the area. I used it in 2015 as a component in the Moment of Silence blend. In 2020 we picked early, the grapes were ripe but the sugar low and the palate fresh. The juice fermented spontaneously in a 1600L concrete egg shapes tank. The wine showed individuality and I decided to bottle this as a single vineyard wine within the BLANKBOTTLE portfolio." Producer's note

BLANKbottle Boetie 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
Picked early, the grapes from the decomposed granitic soil were destemmed and underwent fermentation over 5 days. The wine shows a wonderful fruity crunch on the palate, but with firm tannins giving it some grip. We tasted it and could not believe it was 100% Pinotage.

BLANKbottle Empire Strikes Back 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"Today I'm standing up to defend the EMPIRE - STELLENBOSCH. Silently, she’s been re-aligning her troops and now strikes back at the Swartland to establish herself yet again as a formidable force. The Empire Strikes Back 2018 - An all-STELLENBOSCH white blend of Verdelho from 2 different sites, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier. Just for the record - I am a huge fan of Swartland white blends. The image of South African wines has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and the Swartland played a huge part in this. Their wines, especially the Rhône-style white blends are top notch. They are fun, young, energetic and unique and started to gain international fame. Stellenbosch, however (where I studied winemaking), is the original EMPIRE of South African wine. Like most of us, I like to support the underdog, and in the case of white blends, the Empire became exactly that. So I created a white blend based on similar varieties - a combination that could give some of the Swartland white blends a go. The empire is therefore now striking back at the Swartland. The label consists of two sections. On the left part of the label you will see a half star, which was the logo for the "Swartland Revolution". And on the right - stripes that represent a traditional and conservative EMPIRE." - Producer's note

BLANKbottle Kortpad Kaaptoe 2020

R250.00 inc. VAT
This is the 5th vintage of the wine and the style moved a bit towards the elegant side of Maria Gomes. Spice-driven with fragrant finesse, but a strong potent core.

BLANKbottle Little William 2020

R310.01 inc. VAT
"The wine is named after my chance meeting with a little boy called William on the Witzenberg mountains. It’s been a fascinating story from the start, but became even more bizarre at the end of last year, with another chance meeting. Little William reloaded! In January 2016, I was driving back from a tiny little vineyard in the Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres Plateau). Cruising along at the 100km/h speed limit, I came to a very winding stretch of road leading towards the Witzenberg pass. Suddenly, for a split second, I thought I saw something in the middle of the road. I had just come through a super sharp bend and had to jump on the brakes with both feet. When I finally got my 470 000-km-on-the-clock Toyota to stop, there, on the white line in the middle of the road, stood a little blonde boy. I guessed him around a year and a half old. He was in his nappies and had a white T-shirt on, perfectly camouflaged on the white line. Unsure of what to do once I'd taken him out of the road, I thought it a good plan to prompt him and see which direction he takes off in (with myself of course right behind). About 200 meters further along the road he (we) crossed a little bridge heading towards the other side of the canal. He turned up a dirt road which led to a farmhouse about 300 meters up a hill. Keeping up to his snail-like pace, we arrived at the house more or less 10 minutes later (in my experience with farm dogs, it wouldn’t have been wise to carry him). When the gardener saw us approaching, he called out to a woman at the house and judging by her reaction, she must’ve been his mom and he must’ve been missing for a while. It was a bit of an emotional and chaotic environment so, knowing he was safe, I just turned around and left without introducing myself. So each time I present a tasting with Little William wine as part of the line-up, I get the same question: “Why is it called, Little William?”, followed almost without fail by: “What does the family have to say about you calling a wine, Little William?” My answer is always the same: “I never went back, they don't even know the wine exists. But I am convinced there will be this one day where I’d be sitting at some local bar in Knysna, drinking a beer all by myself when the young guy next to me turns to me and introduces himself as William from Ceres." And I’ll be able to tell him: “Eendag, lank, lank gelede het hierdie oom jou lewe gered!” For 4 years I had the privilege of telling the story of little William. Until last year. When Chapter 2 happened. In November, we took our youngest son for a minor operation at Panorama Mediclinic, Tygerberg, Cape Town. The lady at reception looked at us with a puzzled look on her face. We later learnt that there had been a mistake on the paperwork and they were under the impression that he was an adult. They had subsequently booked him into an adult ward. The man next to him had drunk a cup of coffee at 6:00am that morning with milk in. His operation therefore had to be postponed and he obviously missed his theatre time slot. He had to wait almost the whole day for the next slot. He and Sebastian eventually left for the theatre at more or less the same time. I went to get us a cup of coffee, and as she always does, Aneen started making conversation with the milk-in-the-coffee guy’s wife. On my return Aneen said: ”They are from Ceres, tell her the little William story.” I cringed, thinking: "Why would I do that??" I tried to let her comment slide and filled the awkward silence with useless words. We carried on with the small talk and she ended up telling us that she is a vet and her husband is a farmer. “Where do you farm in Ceres?”, I asked. “In the Witzenberg mountains, on a farm called Blah-blah-blah”, she answered. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, that was the name of the farm where I dropped little William that morning. It started dawning on me that it might be my Knysna-bar-thing moment happening in a totally bizarre, different way. “Do you have a son called William?” I asked. “No”, she replied, “but my nephew is called William and they live on the same farm, in the house next to the road.” We did the sums and he would’ve been exactly 1 and a half years at the time. So it turns out it wasn't a beer-in-hand pub in Knysna, but a coffee-in-hand hospital in Cape Town. I should've listened to Aneen right from the start... so I told her the whole story and she phoned her sister-in-law. “Did you ever lose William on the farm?” she asked (I don’t think that’s the type of story you volunteer to tell your extended family if not prompted). “Yes”, she said. “There was this one day…” PS: This incident made me think about everyone’s life stories. I’m convinced that these kind of things happen to everyone. The difference is that I just happened to call a wine Little William, and I have a reason to re-tell this story. If I didn’t, I would’ve possibly only re-told the story once or twice, but I can imagine how the finer details could've gotten lost between profit margins and VAT. I have a responsibility to convey the story in an honest and factual way. You know how easily a story gets blurry. So each time I drive the road, I recheck my facts: Where exactly did William stand? Distances? The name of the farm? The story then became part of our story. And that day when the lady mentioned Ceres, the first thing Aneen thought about was the boy in the road." Winemaker's notes

BLANKbottle Little William 2020 Magnum

R630.00 inc. VAT
“The wine is named after my chance meeting with a little boy called William on the Witzenberg mountains. It’s been a fascinating story from the start, but became even more bizarre at the end of last year, with another chance meeting. Little William reloaded! In January 2016, I was driving back from a tiny little vineyard in the Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres Plateau). Cruising along at the 100km/h speed limit, I came to a very winding stretch of road leading towards the Witzenberg pass. Suddenly, for a split second, I thought I saw something in the middle of the road. I had just come through a super sharp bend and had to jump on the brakes with both feet. When I finally got my 470 000-km-on-the-clock Toyota to stop, there, on the white line in the middle of the road, stood a little blonde boy. I guessed him around a year and a half old. He was in his nappies and had a white T-shirt on, perfectly camouflaged on the white line. Unsure of what to do once I’d taken him out of the road, I thought it a good plan to prompt him and see which direction he takes off in (with myself of course right behind). About 200 meters further along the road he (we) crossed a little bridge heading towards the other side of the canal. He turned up a dirt road which led to a farmhouse about 300 meters up a hill. Keeping up to his snail-like pace, we arrived at the house more or less 10 minutes later (in my experience with farm dogs, it wouldn’t have been wise to carry him). When the gardener saw us approaching, he called out to a woman at the house and judging by her reaction, she must’ve been his mom and he must’ve been missing for a while. It was a bit of an emotional and chaotic environment so, knowing he was safe, I just turned around and left without introducing myself. So each time I present a tasting with Little William wine as part of the line-up, I get the same question: “Why is it called, Little William?”, followed almost without fail by: “What does the family have to say about you calling a wine, Little William?” My answer is always the same: “I never went back, they don’t even know the wine exists. But I am convinced there will be this one day where I’d be sitting at some local bar in Knysna, drinking a beer all by myself when the young guy next to me turns to me and introduces himself as William from Ceres.” And I’ll be able to tell him: “Eendag, lank, lank gelede het hierdie oom jou lewe gered!” For 4 years I had the privilege of telling the story of little William. Until last year. When Chapter 2 happened. In November, we took our youngest son for a minor operation at Panorama Mediclinic, Tygerberg, Cape Town. The lady at reception looked at us with a puzzled look on her face. We later learnt that there had been a mistake on the paperwork and they were under the impression that he was an adult. They had subsequently booked him into an adult ward. The man next to him had drunk a cup of coffee at 6:00am that morning with milk in. His operation therefore had to be postponed and he obviously missed his theatre time slot. He had to wait almost the whole day for the next slot. He and Sebastian eventually left for the theatre at more or less the same time. I went to get us a cup of coffee, and as she always does, Aneen started making conversation with the milk-in-the-coffee guy’s wife. On my return Aneen said: ”They are from Ceres, tell her the little William story.” I cringed, thinking: “Why would I do that??” I tried to let her comment slide and filled the awkward silence with useless words. We carried on with the small talk and she ended up telling us that she is a vet and her husband is a farmer. “Where do you farm in Ceres?”, I asked. “In the Witzenberg mountains, on a farm called Blah-blah-blah”, she answered. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, that was the name of the farm where I dropped little William that morning. It started dawning on me that it might be my Knysna-bar-thing moment happening in a totally bizarre, different way. “Do you have a son called William?” I asked. “No”, she replied, “but my nephew is called William and they live on the same farm, in the house next to the road.” We did the sums and he would’ve been exactly 1 and a half years at the time. So it turns out it wasn’t a beer-in-hand pub in Knysna, but a coffee-in-hand hospital in Cape Town. I should’ve listened to Aneen right from the start… so I told her the whole story and she phoned her sister-in-law. “Did you ever lose William on the farm?” she asked (I don’t think that’s the type of story you volunteer to tell your extended family if not prompted). “Yes”, she said. “There was this one day…” PS: This incident made me think about everyone’s life stories. I’m convinced that these kind of things happen to everyone. The difference is that I just happened to call a wine Little William, and I have a reason to re-tell this story. If I didn’t, I would’ve possibly only re-told the story once or twice, but I can imagine how the finer details could’ve gotten lost between profit margins and VAT. I have a responsibility to convey the story in an honest and factual way. You know how easily a story gets blurry. So each time I drive the road, I recheck my facts: Where exactly did William stand? Distances? The name of the farm? The story then became part of our story. And that day when the lady mentioned Ceres, the first thing Aneen thought about was the boy in the road.” Winemaker’s notes

BLANKbottle Moment of Silence 2020

R205.00 inc. VAT
"Since it’s maiden vintage in 2007, this wine changed quite a lot. In 2007, it was a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Viognier - 3 vineyards. The 2020 vintage however, consists of 4 components - 2 Chenin blanc vineyards called Boberg and Draai-Draai as well as Grenache Blanc and Viognier. All from Wellington. -Boberg: This vineyard grows on top of the Groenberg mountain in Wellington in decomposed granite. It was a neglected bush vine Chenin blanc vineyard that was recently resurrected and now being converted into an organically farmed parcel. -Draai-Draai: This vineyard is a trellised vineyard in a little valley on the western slope of the Boberg. It is a great component and produces extracted, dense full-bodied wines. It grows in decomposed granite and in 2018 it was converted into an organically farmed block. These 2 Vineyards make up about 75% of the final blend. -The next 20% is made up of a younger, organically farmed, irrigated Grenache Blanc vineyard on the lower slopes of the Groenberg. In 2018, we started to experiment with different fermentation styles. Specifically with the Grenache we tried some skin fermented parcels and it turned out really good - the idea is to add some tannin and texture to the final blend. -And the last 5% of the wine is made up of a conventionally farmed Viognier Vineyard next to the Grenache. Most of the components were fermented in old French Oak barrels 225, 300, 400 and 500L. The Viognier in Amphore and the Boberg vineyard in a concrete egg shaped tank. Spontaneous fermentation with 1-year aged on the Lees. Moment of Silence is our largest production at present and we produced about 10 000 bottles."Producer's note

BLANKbottle Orbitofrontal Cortex 2020

R280.00 inc. VAT
"In October 2015 I was sitting on a plane heading to Joburg, next to a guy who was (or so it seemed) plugged into his computer with wires and stuff. It looked like he was communicating with the machine in a way. Once we had landed I asked him what on earth he was doing. He told me that he and his clinical psychologist business partner had started a marketing company called Neural Sense, based in Cape Town. They conduct market research by tapping into people's subconscious reactions to various inputs. I love weird things, so I told him I make wine and if ever he wanted to do something with wine he was welcome to get in contact. And he did. Three months later I was sitting at the table in my winery hooked onto machines. All my subconscious reactions (in the LIMBIC part of my brain) to each of the 21 components were to be measured and recorded - a camera looking me in the eyes (for eye reactions), a thing on my finger (for blood oxygen levels), a heart rate monitor on my chest, something on my arm (for arousal levels e.g. heat/sweat) and a mobile EEG device on my head (for monitoring my brain waves). It was the time of year where I had to make up final blends and I was sitting with 21 different white wine components in barrel, which were ready for blending and bottling. They were all different varietals from different areas and vineyards. So my assistant winemaker, Julia, took samples from all the barrels and put them into glasses, which my wife marked from 1 to 21. For each wine I would first close my eyes, then open them and they would start recording with the camera, hand me any wine and prompt me to nose, taste and spit - constantly monitoring and recording my heart rate, blood stuff and activity in my subconscious. Of course I can’t control my subconscious - before I think of reacting, I already had. We tasted through all 21 wines. I obviously spat, washed my mouth with water in between and we even did a few with clean water in my mouth and used that as a control or base reaction. This process took a whole day. I like to call it work. Their job was now to analyse the data. The way I understand it is that they look at all the parts of my brain that reacted, compare it with all the other blood and heart monitors and then work out with mathematical algorithm what I liked and disliked. The analysis of the data took months, so in the meantime Julia and I decided to blend a control - the best possible white blend from the same 21 parcels - making use of our conscious mind; the ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX. When the results came, the two wines were so different! We blended both and bottled the 2 wines. Please note - we are NOT trying to prove something with this experiment. We were just trying to have fun. And we did… So, LIMBIC 2015 - Wellington Chenin blanc, Darling Chenin blanc, Swartland Clairette blanche, Upper Hemel and Aarde Pinot Gris and Stellenbosch Viognier And ORBITO FRONTAL CORTEX 2015 - Piekenierskloof Grenache blanc, Swartland Clairette blanche, Swartland Fernão Pires, Elgin Semillon and Voor Paardeberg Verdelho. " - Producer's note

BLANKbottle Pseudonym 2020

R310.01 inc. VAT
"There are two farms in Darling who share the same entrance. I buy grapes from Framer 1. He is a really good farmer and many years ago realised that the only way to make his business work is to farm top-quality grapes. He therefore removed all inferior high-production vineyards and was left with only old Bush vines with potential. He then sourced buyers from top wineries - guys and girls who could afford paying much more for his grapes and compensate him for the extra care given to these Old vines. Over the years he therefore created a niche market for himself. His neighbour however (Farmer 2), farms for the big co-operative winery who doesn't pay as well as the smaller wineries. So, each time a branded vehicle entered their shared entrance, Farmer 2 made a note of the name of the winery who buys from his neighbour. He would then get into contact with the winery and try and sell them grapes as well. I don't have any branding on my vehicle though, so he couldn't track me down. One day, however, he phoned Farmer 1 and complained about the speed I was driving, obviously wanting to find out who I was. Farmer 1’s reply? “Oh, you mean the jam(preserve) maker from The Strand? He’s the one who buys all my left-over grapes once I’ve sold all my top stuff. He then pays me double what the others are paying and makes jam in The Strand (my home town).” I’m sure this kept Farmer 2 busy for a while. My pseudonym: “Die konfytkoker van die Strand”, meaning “The jam maker from the Strand”. Pseudonym is made from a small 68-year old little vineyard. It grows in a little valley into the mountain in Darling. Seeing that it is the only food source around, the birds eat the grapes every year. The farmer could never use the valley for something else, so he kept the vineyard. When the grapes eventually ripened, there wouldn’t be much left to harvest. He would then pick the bits and throw it with the other grapes from the farm headed for the big co-operative winery. This was what had happened for 64 years. I asked him if we could cover the whole vineyard with bird nets, I bought the nets and he gave the labour. It was at the age of 65 when, for the first time, a wine was made exclusively from that little vineyard. I make two wines from it. Retirement@65 - a blend of the little block of Cinsaut and 25% Shiraz as well as Pseudonym which is 100% the Old vineyard Cinsaut. "Producer's note

BLANKbottle The Spaniard 2020

R310.01 inc. VAT
BLANKbottle The Spaniard 2020 is 100% Mourvèdre from a bush vine growing in schist soil in the Riebeek Valley. Just 3 barrels were made (1 x 225L new oak barrel and 2 x 225L older oak barrels). The winemaker, Pieter describes the wine as flirty and very expressive so went with a dumpier bottle shape for 'stage presence' and a loud label design.

Danie Junior Chenin Blanc 2020

R95.00 inc. VAT
Ripe quince, pineapple and stone fruit with some interesting savory undertones. Lightly textured palate, with a hint of sweetness and balancing crunchy acid, results in a brisk finish.

Newton Johnson Albariño 2020

R195.01 inc. VAT
An opulent concentration of crisp and complex fruit and redolent white flowers. The pungent base of ripe limes, tangy nectarine and quince fruit is softened with a mealy beeswax character. Drifting scents of apple blossom and honeydew deliver some alluring top notes. The waxy texture envelops the palate, succulent fruit in the middle, and the flavour protracted by refreshing acidity in the finish.

Newton Johnson Felicité Pinot Noir 2020

R115.00 inc. VAT
"The Newton Johnson family are specialists in the growing and making of the Burgundian grape varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Felicité range offers access to fine examples of these wines at prices that won’t break the bank. Discovering Pinot Noir wines can be a supremely rewarding experience, some say the ultimate. The fragrant fruit of Pinot Noir is ever distinct; and the silky, elegant texture is what seduces you in to what may be called the ‘Queen of wines’." Producer's note

Newton Johnson Walker Bay Pinot Noir 2019

R240.01 inc. VAT
"Our village Pinot Noir" is how Gordy Newton Johnson describes this very tasty red, sourced from the younger and lower-lying blocks on the farm and from Bot River. Fresh and juicy, it's a Cape version of a Chorey-lès-Beaune, with a touch of whole bunch spice and freshness and pure redcurrant and red cherry flavours." – Tim Atkin

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 2020

To be released in 2020, the NV Único Reserva Especial 2020 Release is a non-vintage blend of 59 barrels from 2008, 2009 and 2010, mostly Tempranillo with some Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has been getting closer to the style of the Único, and the blend is from vintages very close to the current release of Único, but somehow this year I think the blend has added some complexity to the bottled wine, which has the heart and soul of the 2010 vintage. In fact, they told me they are keeping more wine to have some older vintages to blend for this Reserva Especial, because in the last few years, the wine has been a little too young for the style that it used to have in the past. This has finesse and some of the Burgundian style of the blends of yesteryear. 17,071 bottles and 214 magnums produced. It was bottled in June 2016.

Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 2020 Magnum

To be released in 2020, the NV Único Reserva Especial 2020 Release is a non-vintage blend of 59 barrels from 2008, 2009 and 2010, mostly Tempranillo with some Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has been getting closer to the style of the Único, and the blend is from vintages very close to the current release of Único, but somehow this year I think the blend has added some complexity to the bottled wine, which has the heart and soul of the 2010 vintage. In fact, they told me they are keeping more wine to have some older vintages to blend for this Reserva Especial, because in the last few years, the wine has been a little too young for the style that it used to have in the past. This has finesse and some of the Burgundian style of the blends of yesteryear. 17,071 bottles and 214 magnums produced. It was bottled in June 2016.