Excelsior

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 (180 kilometres by road) west of Cape Town, where although it is hotter, it is regulated by sea breezes (from the coast 80 kilometres away) 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 also have the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association’s (WIETA) Fair Labour Practice seal as well as being 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 has a little lees contact for three months to give the wine a touch of richness. It is a classic South African Sauvignon Blanc, zesty with hints of passion fruit, capsicum 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 a touch of spice and structure. The Cabernet Sauvignon had 40% of the blend 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 ripe 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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Wines

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