Helderberg Winery Reserve 2021


TA – Tim Atkin MW
PG – Platter’s Wine Guide

Intense aromas of red fruit, and cassis dominate a fresh and inviting nose with whiffs ripe fig, nutmeg, clove and coriander. The warm baked-spice character of the nose follows through seamlessly onto a smooth palate with flavours of blueberries, ripe plums and liquorice. Cocoa powdery tannins and well-integrated lemony acidity add to the fine structure of the wine and its exceptional balance. The attractive finish of white pepper and red liquorice along with a subtle hint of herbes de Provence contribute to a clean refreshing finish.

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Although the winter of 2020 started late, regular cold fronts brought significantly more rainfall than the previous season and soil profiles becoming well-saturated. It wasn’t the coldest of Cape winters, but sufficient cold units allowed for successful breaking of dormancy. The budding period was cool and wet, resulting in lower soil temperatures and this delayed bud break by up to two weeks. Later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon enjoyed the moderate conditions and developed evenly. The cooler conditions without any sudden climatic extremes from neither heat, wind nor rain, ensured for ideal flowering and fruit set periods. Véraison too followed the seasonal trend and was up to 10-14 days later, dependant on variety. The ripening period maintained the timing, further enhanced by the moderate weather and little time exposed to temperatures above 35ºC. Despite the cooler conditions, all three varieties achieved ideal sugar and alcohol levels, with lower pHs and higher acidities. The wine is characterised by fantastic flavour and fruit concentration, excellent colour extraction with a fine tannin structure.

Our Cabernet Sauvignon is made from fruit grown on the northwest-facing slope of the Helderberg Mountain and a southeast-facing hillside in Vlottenburg. The Cinsault component is also grown on the Helderberg, to a more northerly face, while Syrah comes from a south-face of the Polkadraai Hills. The Cabernet Sauvignon is destemmed and crushed into stainless steel fermentation tank. Both Cinsault and Syrah were also fermented in stainless steel at a 50:50 ratio of whole-bunch to destemmed fruit, per variety. Cabernet Sauvignon was matured in 30% new, 70% 2nd/3rd-fill barriques. These are light toast, long seasoned 225- itre French barriques from our preferred coopers, Sylvain and Saury. The Cinsault and Syrah were matured in a combination of seasoned 2,500L foudres and barriques. The élevage ranged between 14-16 months, depending on variety component and vineyard parcel.

  • Alcohol: 14.55 % vol
  • RS: 2.40 g/l
  • TA:5.8 g/l
  • pH: 3.67
  • W.O. Stellenbosch