Robertson, robertson South Africa

Excelsior Estate is located in Robertson and has been owned by the De Wet family since 1859. The estate has had various incarnations, including ostrich farming and racehorse rearing, but has always been used for vine growing. Freddie De Wet and his sons, Peter and Jacques, now run the 230 hectare estate that is focused on the ‘big five’ varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Robertson is located 100 kilometres east of Cape Town, where, although the climate is hotter, it is moderated by sea breezes and the Breede River. The diurnal temperature differences allow for slow ripening and retention of the primary fruit aromatics and bright acidity.

For such a large estate, Excelsior is unique in that all the grapes are hand harvested, providing many jobs for the local community. They have the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association’s (WIETA) Fair Labour Practice seal and they are also Integrity and Sustainability Certified by the Wine and Spirit Board. Both of these are voluntary accreditations that adhere to strict codes of conduct.

The Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in stainless-steel tanks and is aged for two months on its lees to give the wine a touch of richness. It is a classic South African Sauvignon Blanc, zesty with hints of passion fruit, grapefruit and gooseberry.

The Merlot is soft, ripe and plummy with smooth tannins. 45% of the Merlot was aged in a combination of French and American oak for six months to give it spice and structure. A proportion of the Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for nine months in French and American oak. Expect blackcurrants, spice and fine, firm tannins. The Shiraz has black fruit characters with cake spices and vibrant acidity. 30% of the Shiraz was aged in a combination of French and American oak for eight months. The Excelsior wines are fresh, fruity and meant for drinking while young with or without food.


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