The Tea Leaf

Region: Piekenierskloof
Vintage: 2017
ABV%: 12.5%
Pack Size: 6 x 75cl
Closure Type: Screwcap 
Grape Variety:
Chenin Blanc 65%, Grenache Blanc 30%, Palomino 5%

Food Match:
Simply cooked fish dishes, scallops, salt & pepper squid or fishcakes, light seafood pasta, risotto, rich salads and sushi

Inspiration: 
The three different grape varieties are harvested and vinified separately then blended into the Chenin Blanc later to increase mouthfeel and fruit freshness. In the infancy of winemaking, the juice from these grapes are almost grey in colour and hints of green-tea aromas waft around the cellar as the grapes are crushed and pumped into tank. ‘Tea Leaf’ is also English rhyming slang for ‘thief’ which is linked to the grapes being ‘stolen’ off their vines in the cool twilight hours then stealthily delivered to the winery where this delightful concoction is made

Tasting Note:
Complex sandy stone fruit nose with notes of crushed granite, slightly saline and wait… is that Rooibos I can smell?! The palate has firm, high-key fruit, a broad texture and quiet persistence that well... persists and persists. Ultimately this is a deeply satisfying wine made from a blend of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc and Palomino grapes grown on ancient vines in Piekenierskloof, allowing the genuinely unique terroir feel and character to shine through.

 

 
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The winemakers' notes:

 

“On visiting the majestic Piekenierskloof on a weekend getaway, our winemaker stumbled upon this block of 40–45 year old bush vine Chenin Blanc that forms the backbone to this wine. The name ‘The Tea Leaf’ hails from the uniqueness of the vineyards where these grapes grow - high above the valley floor on the Piekenierskloof escarpment, amongst a scattering of South Africa’s native rooibos (red tea) plants that grow wild amongst the vines. Protected from removal and yet to be successfully cultivated anywhere else in the world, these tea plants live in harmony with old Palomino and younger Grenache Blanc vines in the neighbouring blocks. 

To ensure the fruit is the best it can be, grapes are carefully selected and harvested in the cool early hours of the morning. Further selection is then made by hand in the winery to guarantee the finest grapes are chosen before being gently crushed then naturally fermented in old French 600 litre barrels and a small percentage in tank. We choose to use old barrels as we want this wine to still be fresh and fruit driven but with a great mouth feel. The separate components are kept on their fine lees for around 10 months before being gently racked, blended and finally bottled here in South Africa.”