The Fledge & Co Vagabond
Tim Atkin 93 Points
Platter 4 Stars
Neal Martin 88 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.
Leon says: "A proper barrel fermented & matured Cape White blend, encompassing vines from across the length and breadth of the Cape's winelands. The current 2016 vintage is a combination of Steen, Chardonnay, Viognier, Verdelho & Grenache blanc - it's very food friendly & akin to Rhone white with a lot more refinement thanks to our cool climate Chardonnay, low alcohol & use of old French oak casks."
Gold in colour with wonderful clarity. Swirl it around to see the legs on the glass. Lovely flavours with peach and some citrus. Quite full body with a creamy mouthfeel. This is lovely wine. delicate for a South African, made in an elegant and classy style.
Be careful not to overchill this beauty!
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's info on the wine states:
"Philosophy – Prudentia Sine Vino – an independently minded wine. A multi-varietal, multiregional, “old skool” barrel fermented & matured Cape white, bottle unfined & unfiltered. An endeavour to showcase the diversity of the Cape.
Vineyard – Combination of low yielding prime vineyard sites scattered across the length & breadth of the Cape combining a myriad of ancient soils, aspects & climes. All fruit was hand harvested at dawn. Quite possibly the most tempestuous vintage in the Cape – super low winter rainfall, early spring, hot summer, heat waves & erratic weather – resulted in small clusters of fruit, great concentration & very lithe wines.
Vinification – The Chardonnay – both cool climate, one on Table Mountain sandstones, the other on sandstone shale soils; Viognier – a small block wedged in sandstone shales; & Verdelho – a five year old block harvested second week January - were crushed, allowed a period of skin contact, pressed directly into old French oak barrels of varying size, inoculated with neutral yeasts strains & cold fermented. Old bush vine Swartland Steen from granitic soils was naturally fermented in large old French barrels & matured in puncheon. The Grenache blanc was allowed extended skin contact, crushed, settled & racked into 400L barrels inoculated with neutral yeasts. Each component was matured separately for about 9 months prior to a barrel selection, final blending and bottled unfined & unfiltered. Only yeast & small amounts of sulphur are added during the process.
Wine – Svelte, zesty, shy yet complex with layers of flavour & heady aromatics emerging with time in the glass – making for an ideal foil to mild Cantonese & Cape Malay cuisine, soft fromage & charcuterie or simply sip on its own. Serve lighlty chilled & best decanted in youth. Cellar in confidence to enjoy the complexities of this fine blend.
|Winery||Fledge & Co|
|Winery status||Just Leon & Margaux!|
|Winemaker||Leon & Margaux|
|Annual production||5940 bottles|
|Grapes||Steen, Chardonnay, Viognier, Verdelho & Grenache blanc|
|Product awards||Tim Atkin 93 Points, Platter 4 Stars, Neal Martin 88 Points|
|Sulphite level||Medium Low|