The 2015 harvest has been hailed an excellent vintage and the earliest ever recorded by the current Fleur du Cap winemaking team at Die Bergkelder who search the length and breadth of the Western Cape to find the best grapes to craft their wines.
Fleur du Cap is in an enviable position to use the pick of the crop from diverse vineyard sites, selecting particular regions for their varying terroir, soils, slope orientation and micro climate that best express the sought after flavour profiles and sense of place in the wines. The team calls this “Regional Excellence”.
“It was certainly the earliest vintage in our time at Die Bergkelder,” says Cellarmaster Andrea Freeborough. “We started on 7 January and although the crop was lighter than expected, the overall quality is extremely promising. All in all, the smaller and earlier crop looks like it has delivered an excellent vintage and we are extremely excited about the wines.”
Andrea describes the concentration and complexity in the Sauvignon Blancs as “phenomenal”: “The fruit from Elgin has really stood out this year and there is such an abundance of tropical flavours from all our blocks. Darling Sauvignon Blancs are also really intense and are showing lovely asparagus and green pepper notes,” she adds.
Chardonnays from Robertson and Stellenbosch are looking very good as usual. “There is a lovely minerality on the wines as well as citrus and tropical notes.”
The Chenin Blancs are concentrated and showing lots of tropical flavours too. Andrea describes the earlier tank from Papkuils (Darling) as “aromatic and elegant”, compared with the tank from Windmeul (Paarl) as more “full and complex”, while the Elgin tank is still fermenting but looks to be very promising at this early stage, showing melon and peach notes.
On the reds, colour and concentration have been “fantastic all round,” adds Andrea. The Pinotages are big, bold and full of flavour, with soft tannin. The Stellenbosch and Windmeul (Paarl) fruit selected for the Fleur du Cap range is looking particularly good.
The top Merlots this year come from Stellenbosch grapes with blackberry fruit dominating Fleur du Cap’s top blocks.
Cape Agulhas has again yielded some excellent Shiraz tanks. “The wines are displaying loads of upfront fruit and black pepper notes,” says Andrea adding that the Shiraz from Stellenbosch and Somerset West is also looking amazing in terms of complexity and balance, albeit with a totally different flavour profile. “These grapes are not as spicy, but certainly do not lack abundance when it comes to fruit flavours.”
As far as Cabernet Sauvignons are concerned, Stellenbosch fruit is standing out in the cellar with an abundance of flavour and fullness on the palate. “The cooler nights have enhanced overall quality and there is great colour, extraction and ripe tannin in these wines.”
Wine lovers will have to wait until at least May for the release of the first 2015 Fleur du Cap white wines.