All the grapes come from the Waterval Vineyard, owned by Barry Schreiber and farmed by his daughter Franziska Wickens. The bush vines were planted in 1997 on decomposed granite and dry farmed since its initial planting. Since 2014, the southwest facing vineyard has only received organic sprayings and the undervine work has been done purely by machine and not chemically.
The grapes were hand-harvested into small lug-boxes, limiting the damage to the grape in larger bins. The grapes were picked early in the morning prior to the sun coming up in order to retain as much acidity as possible and over the period of ten days to get varying ripening levels. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and the majority of it was fermented in stainless steel at cooler temperature (57°F) with a small amount fermented older 300L barrels. 20% of the entire lot was fermented on its skins. After seven months of aging on the gross lees, the stainless & barrel lots were blended and bottled without fining, filtration or a sulfur dioxide addition.
DATAVintage: 2019Grapes: 100% SémillonVineyard: Waterval Vineyard on the Paardeberg Mountain – farmed by Franziska WickensViticulture: Practicing OrganicSoil Type: Decomposed granitic sand intermixed with fractured clayVine Age: 22-years-oldFermentation: Native – 80% destemmed: 90% stainless steel – 10% in neutral 300L French barriquesSkin Contact: 20% - two weeks on skins & stems in older barrels and stainless steelAging: 7 months in 90% stainless steel and 10% neutral French barriqueAlcohol: 12.5%pH: 3.64Total Acidity: 5.1 g/LResidual Sugar: 2.1 g/LTotal SO2: 34 ppmProduction: 580 cases
TASTING NOTEHazy yellow. Aromas of fresh grass, tangerine, nectarines and lemon peel notes burst from the glass with subtle notes of cucumber water, honeycomb and orange zest. The palate bring a touch of macadamia nut oil profile with intense texture and grip. There is a good bit of acid initially that dissipates leaving a long, persistent finish. Decanting will do this wine well!
Johan Meyer, AKA “Stompie”, has made a name for himself in the ever-emerging South African wine industry in a very short time. While his namesake ‘Signature’ wines reflect his love of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Stompie is not one to limit himself and thus created the Mother Rock Wines wines in collaboration with his UK importer Ben Henshaw of Indigo Wines.
After seeing market quickly drink up the initial Force Majeure (Celeste in the U.S.) wines, they expanded the offerings to include a label called ‘Mother Rock,’ focused on discovering exceptional parcels of sustainably-farmed vines grown on a variety of soil types. The identity of these two ‘brands’ is rooted deep in the South African wine industry with Chenin Blanc at the root of the whites and field blends of the reds. These are terroir-focused wines made to offer drinkability and enjoyment, and it doesn’t hurt that the labels are beautiful.
Much like the ‘Signature’ wines, he has long-term contracts with some of the best growers in the Southern Cape determined to farm their sites organically. In the winery there is no SO2 added before or during fermentation but it’s a natural element that comes from the vines and you will always end up with some SO2 in the wines. That being said the wines are lightly sulfured before bottling for preservation and stability. Ultimately ‘Mother Rock’ is about showcasing the best and purest expression of South Africa’s diverse terroir.
Katie and Denny
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop, focused on small production, organic and biodynamic, natural wines. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
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210 E. Vermilion Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
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