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Coracle 2019
Origin: Stellenbosch
Blend: Cab Sauv (37%), Petit Verdot (31%), Cab Franc (17%), Merlot (15%)

Coracle is our flagship wine. It is a classic Bordeaux styled blend from selected Stellenbosch vineyards. It is named after a humble one man fishing boat. The small boat represents the limited and 'small' batches we release but also illustrates the quality and the importance to the attention to detail in the crafting of this vessel and this wine alike.

Vineyard
The vineyards are spread all over Stellenbosch. The Cabernet Franc situated on an east-facing slope of decomposed granite at an altitude of 250m in the Bottelary ward of Stellenbosch. The Merlot is situated in the Simonsberg ward and also situated on an east-facing slope of decom- posed granite at 300m. The Petit Verdot is at 275m above sea-level in the Bottelary ward, but on much deeper and heavier soils. The Cabernet Sauvignon is planted on various sites within the Bottelary, Helderberg and Polkadraai wards on decomposed granite and ferricrete soils.

Winemaking
Hand-harvested throughout March 2019 at 24-25°C. Some batches were inoculated with others fermenting spontaneously in Stainless Steel. Pump-overs take place 2-3 times per day with the temperature peaking at 28°C. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation and maturation (11 months) takes place in barrique. The majority of the coopers are Taransaud, Sylvain, Sequin Moreau and Saury. The wine is only racked once; two weeks before bottling.

Bottling date: 17 February 2020

Drink 2023-2033.

TASTING NOTES

Coracle 2019 - by Samarie Smith

 


In essence, the name refers to a small traditional boat that symbolises the joint effort of a group of friends who adore Bordeaux-style blends. Yet, there is nothing light-weight about this wine. The quintessential power from Stellenbosch fruit is united in an intriguing and authoritative wine that casts a net of attractive aromas to reel you in. Its hedonistic charm of plum, mulberry, cassis, and blackberry are underpinned with masculine notes of English leather, cedar, tobacco, truffle, and cured meat. On entry, the wine provokes the palate with firm, corseted tannins that makes way for a delicious and mouth-filling mid-palate. This suave cabernet sauvignon-driven blend is undoubtedly intended to set sail for a long-lived journey and beckons those in search of a focussed and multi-faceted wine. Adorning this solid backbone, Merlot contributes with lively red fruit and a cool note of fennel that resurfaces as the wine develops in the glass. Trailed by hints of graphite and capsicum, Cabernet Franc takes a bow, adding even more defined fruit and finesse. Noticeable florals, rosemary, and intensity stems from Stellenbosch Petit Verdot to complete this flavour journey. The smart use of foudre barrels in combination with new 225-litre French oak barrels imparts deft tannin in its youth and anchors a sense of longevity. Persistent with a lingering taste of liquorice, cloves, and cinnamon, this wine was made to conquer.

 

Tasting Notes
Appearance
Deep ruby. Nose: Med+ intensity. Primary: cassis, black plum, rosemary, cedar, blueberry, violet, mulberry, liquorice, capsicum, ground coriander, red currents. Secondary: tobacco, vanilla, mocha, pine forest, cloves, cinnamon stick.

 

Palate
Dry, full-body, med acidity, med Alc., medium+ intensity, cool, herbal notes on the palate, red fruit persists, savoury notes persist, lots of tension, silky, firm, fine-grained tannin, somewhat coarse but needs time, authoritative, good and lively acidity, excellent length, athletic, focused, cedar, balanced, persistent, meaty, steak tartare, olive brine, graphite slightly reductive, med+ finish, new oak needs time to integrate.

Quality
The wine is excellent and suitable for ageing. Great balance or various fruit clusters, a harmonious acidity, and dense but ripe tannin (slight- ly gravelly and will smooth out with bottle age). The wine has great length, and the fruit is backed with a savoury minerality. Medium+ intensity and medium + concentration, still somewhat contrived and needs time to integrate. It will appeal to a European palate. Well executed.

 

Conclusion
The wine is more approachable with decanting, and the tension will ease up a bit. Indeed, a sophisticated and chiseled wine albeit somewhat austere. Excited to see how this wine will perform in the long run as it is still tightly wound, and the oak needs integration.

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