Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay from Swartland, Western Cape, South Africa; 7 days on skins; light to medium bodied and dry, with notes of lemon rind and white peach, marzipan and saline, fresh herbs and hay, with medium acid, and a giving finish.
This is the second iteration of 'Story of Harry' and a departure from the single-site, uber-angular original offering. Jurgen decided to send Harry out for some R&R in order to find inspiration for his future. As always Harry is a fictional character who represents many 'Harrys and Harriets' in the local community that are just as much a part of the 'terroir' of the wine as the vineyard. Without the work these vineyard workers provide, high quality wine would not be possible. Moreover without the work that the winemakers have available, many of these communities would remain desolate. Jurgen illustrates the collaborative team effort through the imagery on the label that is his artistic interpretation of the long drives in the Swartland going from town to township to city to farm. The colorful homes and clothing dot the landscape and form the symbiotic community of the Swartland. The fruit all comes off of a single site northeast of the Paardeberg with the Chardonnay at the bottom of the vineyard at lower altitudes and the Chenin further up the slope facing due East. The Chenin was planted in 2002 and the Chardonnay in 1998 and both are bush vine plantings and have been dry-farmed since their inception. Jurgen would never consider making a varietal Chardonnay from the Swartland at the lower-lying altitudes, but the richness blended with the linear Chenin is a truly great harmony of varieties.
The fruit was hand-harvested in the cool, dark morning of early February. The Chenin Blanc component was entirely destemmed and fermented on the skins for one week in open-top fermenters without any additions. Following a week on skins the lot was pressed directly to old 25hL and 30hL foudre for aging. The Chardonnay was whole-bunch pressed directly to stainless steel for a reductive natural fermentation on its gross lees and in a sealed tank. The fermentation was very slow and ardous and after three months it went fully dry. Following another two months in tank the Chardonnay was then racked off of its lees to old French barriques for aging. The Chardonnay aged for an additional 5 months in barrel and by that point the Chenin looked good to go as well. Both components were racked once to tank to harmonize and settle naturally prior to being bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.
Grapes: 76% Chenin Blanc - 24% Chardonnay
Vineyard: A single site near Kasteelburg
Viticulture: Practicing Organic - dry-farmed
Soil Type: Decomposed granite atop exposed granitic boulders
Vine Age: 18-years-old (Chenin Blanc) - 22-years-old (Chardonnay)
Fermentation: Native - open top stainless-steel with skin contact (Chenin Blanc - 100% destemmed) – closed stainless-steel tank (Chardonnay - whole-bunch pressed)
Skin Contact: 7 days (Chenin Blanc)
Aging: 10 months in old French foudre (Chenin Blanc) – 5 months in stainless-steel followed by 5 months in old French barrique (Chardonnay)
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/L
Total SO2: 25 ppm
Production: 175 cases