ah Semillon 2009
“Thanks to healthy vineyards and helpful weather, this harvest lives in our memories as the best and easiest harvest ever including our first Merlot and Cabernet Franc from the new plantings. Our Club and Jacus both celebrated their 10th birthdays with Nitida. Warren Swaffield took over Cassia. We won the inaugural “Best Producer” Trophy for the most awarded wines at the Michelangelo Awards. We appointed Cathy White as our new Johannesburg agent. Bernhard’s Nitida Decorus Sauvignon Blanc received the highest bid for an unwooded white at the CWG Auction. New labels for our standard range of wines.”
Earthy peat wrapped in elderflower lanolin, a mouth full of firm gooseberry marmalade, spiced with cinnamon and pennyroyal.
The cold and wet September in 2008 made for late budding, hence cooler growing and final ripening period (from early March to late March). Particularly important for semillon with its soft skins, the dry season ensured healthy grapes (unlike last year) and just like sauvignon blanc, some stress adds to flavour complexity. Normal vegetative growth meant simple canopy management - with leaf break out on the east side only. Volumes were a bit down contributing to the intensity of flavours. We have stayed with our award winning formula of fermenting 50% of the semillon in barrels (French new and 2nd fill) in a chardonnay style (yeasts) sur lie, with weekly battonage for the 10 weeks it is in barrel. The balance is tank fermented a la sauvignon blanc keeping it as reductive as possible (adds freshness).