nestled between two rugged mountain ranges near the Breede River, where it benefits from ideal conditions to breed horses and grow vines. Historically, the farm had three activities: horse and ostrich breeding and vine growing, but today winemaking is the main activity. Owning 220 hectare of their own vines and having a bottling line on site has allowed the winery to control the making of its wines from start to finish. The De Wet family has also developed a social program which benefits its employees and the local community and, through the sales of Excelsior wines, has financed the building of a local crèche as well as the two teachers for the village school.
For 60 years the Excelsior land was grazed by thoroughbred horses because of the limestone rich soils which contribute to bone strength. These soils have also been found to be highly beneficial to grape growing as the grapes from these vineyards display greater spice notes in reds and minerality in whites than what is typically found in the Robertson region.
The weather in 2013 was very warm throughout the growing season, resulting in beautiful ripe flavours in the grapes. The crop levels were slightly lower than the long term average.
Grapes were harvested by hand for greater quality control. The bunches were immediately de-stemmed but not crushed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for a period of seven days at temperatures of between 28-32°C. Aerated racking was done twice daily to ensure a clean ferment and soft tannins. The grapes were gently pressed in a bladder press, after which malolactic fermentation was completed in tank. 30% of the total wine was aged in a mixture of French and American oak for a period of eight months, whilst the remaining wine was aged in stainless steel tanks.
The nose shows prominent aromas of dark cherry and sweet violet, with additional notes of pepper. The palate is soft and juicy, with freshness and a long finish.
|Grape varieties||100% Syrah/Shiraz|
|Region||Robertson, Breede River Valley|