Saronsberg ‘MCC’ Brut Tulbagh, Western Cape 2015
Saronsberg, Tulbagh, Western Cape
“[Saronsberg] is currently bestowing wine lovers with exceptionally fine wine, especially Rhône-inspired blends that hit that sweet spot between elegance and hedonism.”
Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate November 2015
Nestled at the foot of the mountain after which it is named, Saronsberg is a contemporary addition to the rich heritage of Tulbagh Valley, comprising 40 hectares of vines: two-thirds red, one-third white. Created by Nick van Huyssteen in 2002, Saronsberg is managed by winemaker Dewaldt Heyns and it is clear to see his love of Rhône winemaking styles in the two Shiraz-dominated wines under the ‘Artspace’ label, which are cracking value for the price. Dewaldt has worked in Sonoma, USA, and also in France, which he says broadened his horizons (he is a member of the prestigious Cape Wine Guild). This proved to be a winning combination, with Saronsberg performing constantly at the highest level, receiving numerous awards since its maiden vintage. The Tulbagh region lies between three mountain ranges: the Witzenberg, the Obiqua and the Winterhoek. The only route that lies open is towards the sea, across the Breede Valley situated 80km off the Atlantic coast, with a continental climate of Mediterranean summers and cold, wet winters. Soils can be broadly classified into 3 categories depending on their location: 1) Red/ yellow clay loam with some fine gravel on the slopes of the Saronsberg Mountain; 2) Deposited boulder beds and sandy-loam alluvial soils surrounding the Klein Berg River and 3) Mid-valley shales towards the centre of the Tulbagh Valley. The bulk of the vineyards are planted in the mid-valley medium deep soils that have developed from Malmesbury shale. The aspect is roughly east, with an average height of 160-185m. The rainfall is 450-550mm per year (June to September). The general wind direction is southeasterly, providing a cooling effect in the afternoons.
All wines grapes are handpicked in the early morning, then cooled to 4°C. A majority of the wines are Bunch sorted, destemmed & berry sorted on vibration tables (unless stated otherwise).
Saronsberg ‘MCC’ Brut: 100% Chardonnay. Soils are partly decomposed Malmesbury shale & clay/loam with gravel. Grapes pressed as whole bunches. Only first juice collected. 48 hours settling. Fermentation 14°C over two weeks. Malolactic completed. Kept in tanks on fine lees for 3 months. The second, bottle fermentation lasts 24 months before hand riddling and disgorgement. A small percentage of barrel aged Chardonnay was added with the liqueur with 5g/l residual sugar.
Grape: 100% Chardonnay