The Fledge & Co Fume Blanc
Tim Atkin 93 Points
Platter 4 Stars
Neal Martin 91 Points
James Suckling 90 Points
Winemag.co.za 90 Points
The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.
This "Fume Blanc" is a blend of hand harvested Sauvignon grapes from two sites, one in Stellenbosch overlooking False Bay and the other up at Gansbaai north of Cape Town on the Atlantic coast. It was both barrel fermented and barrel matured, then bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This is a complex wine, a big hit with their customers in South Africa and clearly well liked by Tim Atkin MW too. Big and round for a Sauvignon with bags of flavour, yet gentle natural acidity. This is a sophisticated wine suited to buttered seafood.
All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.
Leon informs me:
"Philosophy – Sauvignon blanc can unashamedly speak of its origin & if planted in the correct terroirs allows the crafting of quite exceptional wines. Our aim is to craft a barrel fermented & matured Sauvignon which sings of its unique cool climats.
Vineyard – This vintage sees sourcing multiple clones of Sauvignon from the windswept decomposed sandstone loams of Sondagskloof nearby Gansbaai, the decomposed granitic soils of Faure within earshot of False Bay & the high lying deep granitic slopes of the Simonsberg. All fruit is hand harvested at dawn. A far more forgiving vintage than ’16 & akin in many ways to ‘15, but still an extremely challenging vintage due to water stress & vine variance, though it did result in small clusters, greater concentration & buxom wines.
Vinification – Hand harvested at dawn, crushed directly into small pneumatic presses, allowed skin contact & gently pressed. Settled overnight at low temperature, where after the juice with a fair portion of fine lees was transferred to old French oak & fermented utilizing five different Sauvignon specific yeast strains. A single barrel of Sondagskloof Sémillon was wild fermented & racked with a fair portion of lees for maturation. Post ferment the Stellenbosch wine was racked into old French oak hogsheads & the Sondagskloof to 500L barrels and all bâtonnaged often. After 8 months barrel maturation the wines were blended & bottled unfined, unfiltered. Only yeast & small amounts of sulphur are utilized.
Wine – Packing in more “cool climate-ness” - this wine brims with a mélange of pea shoot, fynbos, lime, white peach, ripe nectarine, subtle vanilla ‘n ripe tangerine, while undertones of green Tabasco, white pepper, buttered toast & a hint of wet gravel round it out. An ideal partner to fresh seafood, roast free range Sunday chicken, fine fromage & charcuterie or as an aperitif. Serve lightly chilled & best decanted in youth or cellar for half a decade or so to enjoy the complexities of bottle matured Fumé.
|Location||60% Stellenbosch & 40% Sondagskloof|
|Winery||Fledge & Co|
|Winery status||Just Leon & Margaux!|
|Winemaker||Leon & Margaux|
|Annual production||3900 bottles|
|Grapes||95% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Semillon|
|Product awards||Tim Atkin 93 Points, Platter 4 Stars, Neal Martin 91 Points, James Suckling 90 Points, Winemag.co.za 90 Points|