Editor Andrew Arnott
Andrew studied Literature and Sociology at UCT before setting off on a global trek that saw him working under the seas of the Caribbean, on the snow covered slopes of the Canadian Rockies and writing for a variety of financial and travel institutions. Now at home in Cape Town, Andrew’s passions for wine and writing are married on this blog.
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Michael Olivier - Flagstone Ice A Vine Dried Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Posted on February 27 2019 by
Clever name Ice. It reminds me of Canadian Ice wine, made from grapes picked well into winter once the frost has been at them and cause desiccation.
In South Africa, we have to use a pair of pliers to pinch the peduncles of the bunches to prevent life giving liquids to pass through to the berries which dehydrates the berries. Flagstone Ice 2016 is such a wine.
The vineyard from which the grapes for the Flagstone Ice 2016 come is on the slopes of the iconic Simonsberg Mountain, at the very heart of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. The grapes are all Sauvignon Blanc – the noble white grape of Bordeaux, used to make the sweet Sauternes Wines. Hand harvest in mid-March, the grapes arrived at the cellar and are whole bunch crushed straight into the press. Here they soak for one day before being pressed and the sweet juice is allowed to settle out until clear. The wine then goes to tank to start the fermentation, after which the wine is taken to 4 225 litre oak barrels, one of which was American Oak and the other three came from France. Fermentation took three weeks. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a bottle traditionally called an Alsatian Flute. Closed with natural cork and the top of the bottle dipped in white wax. The label is all white too giving a chilly appearance. There is a bronze wax logo of Flagstone on the centre. In the glass, the wine is gem bright and the same pale golden colour of Orange Blossom Honey. What you pick up on the nose, you find in the rich round and generous palate. Fynbos honey. Soft dried Turkish figs and apricots. The lovely brisk acidity of passion fruit. From entry there is a golden thread of acidity running through into the well interwoven long and gently waning aftertaste.
Be sure to chill this wine well. It has a place at the head of the menu where it would go with a gently curried butternut soup or a spoonful of creamy chicken or duck liver paté. It is a perfect partner to dessert or a cake in the late afternoon. Nina Timm’s Passion Fruit Cheesecake Slices resonate perfectly with the Flagstone Ice 2016. Click here for her recipe.