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The Grape Mystery of Waterkloof

Is it a Chardonnay? No, I bet it’s a Chenin Blanc. Well, it’s definitely not a Sauvignon Blanc. A bit of all three perhaps? Who knows! One thing is certain, the 2011 Circle of Life from Waterkloof is as true treat.

I kept a close eye on Waterkloof ever since my first visit. The place had potential but the vines where still young and the paint on the building was barely dry.

Known for their bio-dynamic farming practices Waterkloof has become one of South Africa’s top private producers over a very short period of time. Not only does this ultra-modern winery offer an incredible fine dining experience, they sure know how to produce some impeccable wines.

The second vintage of their Circle of Life White is a description by taste of Waterkloof’s defining sense of origin. This elegant wine is the culmination of a unique set of circumstances emanating from site-specific vineyard blocks perched high on the slopes of the Schapenberg that have shaped the components in this blend.

According to winemaker, Werner Engelbrecht, the 2011 “Circle of Life White” is a wine that represents Waterkloof to a tee. Their focus has always been to gain a better understanding of Waterkloof and the individual characteristics of its vineyards as well as how the individual vineyard blocks in different parts on the farm produce wines that are stylistically very different.

The name itself reflects the renewal of nature and is inspired by the ongoing cycle that exists not only through the eco-conscious farming practices implemented at Waterkloof, but also in life in general.

The mysterious varietals making up the blend were vinified separately and aged on their primary lees for ten months prior to blending. A portion of grapes (50% of the blend) was aged in old oak barrels, which added richness, complexity and weight to the palate.

The Waterkloof , “Circle of Life White 2011”,  is an intense yet elegant wine with great balance and retails at R120 a bottle. A definite must try!