The Fledge & Co Klipspringer
Tim Atkin 92 Points
Platter 4 Stars
Winemag.co.za 93 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.
Part barrel fermented and matured on the lees to produce a complex wine with real ageing potential. Plale gold in colour with amazing clarity, some legs sticking to the glass. Lovely flavours, yet fairly delicate. Fine palate weight and a crisp cleansing natural acidity on the finish. This is very good wine, particularly suited to food such as grilled fish or chicken dishes. Be careful not to over chill it though. We chose not to use an ice bucket and let the wine relax a bit, and it just got better and better.
Leon informs me:
Philosophy – To express unique Steen climats & vintage, while crafting a fine wine which improves with time in bottle – to this end we as far as possible utilize gnarled old Steen vines, prefer extended ferments in old French oak & stainless-steel, matured sur lie (on the lees), bottle unfined & unfiltered.
Vineyard – A quartet of dry land bush vines: ’76 Piketberg vines rooted in decomposed sandstone, combine with a ’76 Paardeberg vines on highly decomposed poor granitic soils, ’83 vines rooted in the decomposed schists of the leeward side of Kasteelberg combine with gnarled ’72 Malmesbury vines rooted in the poor red ferricrete rich decomposed granites. Each site is hand harvested at dawn from the first week to mid-February. A generous vintage akin to ‘15 despite the climatic chaos – super low winter rainfall, early spring, warm summer & relatively “normal” season – resulted in small clusters of fruit, great concentration & buxom wines.
Vinification – All fruit is crushed directly into small pneumatic press & allowed a few hours skin contact prior to gentle pressing, thereafter the juice was settled overnight prior to racking with a fair share of fine lees. Each climat is fermented separately & only neutral yeasts are used– the Piketberg was fermented in old 400L French oak where after it was taken to old 300L & 228L French oak; a portion of the ’72 Malmesbury was barrel fermented & matured in old 228L French oak puncheons. The Paardeberg, Kasteelberg & rest of the Malmesbury fruit was cold fermented in Inox & matured for 9 months on its fine lees prior to final blending. The final blend was kept in Inox for 4 months on its fine lees prior to bottling unfined & unfiltered, under screw cap to preserve the essence of the site, vintage & vines. Only yeast & small amounts of sulphur are utilized.
Wine – Perhaps our most expressive vintage – orange blossom, ripe cling peach, yellow & orange citrus, dried pineapple, hay, flirtations of Rooibos & typical Swartland spice abound on the bouquet. The palate is generous yet a tad unyielding & satisfyingly lengthy. A perfect partner for roast fowl, traditional Cape Malay dishes, fresh crustaceans & other denizens of the deep, firm fromage or enjoy as an aperitif. Serve lightly chilled & best decanted. Klipspringer most definitely benefits from careful cellaring, as it allows the it slowly gain complexity, nuance & generosity.
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