`La Beryl Blanc` Paarl Chenin Blanc/Muscat

Paarl

Fairview

Fairview is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Paarl, which is more...

sheltered from the moderating maritime influence than nearby Stellenbosch. Vines were planted here as early as 1699. The property was bought by the grandfather of current owner Charles Back in 1937. Fairview has a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties, and leads the field in South Africa in matching varieties to specific sites. The Fairview estate now has a total of 680 hectares of vineyard over four appellations: Paarl (350 hectares), Swartland (155 hectares), Darling (140 hectares) and Stellenbosch (35 hectares). This vineyard ownership in so many different regions allows Charles to produce a wide range of wines, from grapes grown in optimal conditions. In 2014, Charles received a lifetime achievement award from the International Wine Challenge.

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Vineyards

Fairview La Beryl is a traditional straw dried sweet wine named after Charles Back's mother. The Chenin Blanc was grown in two vineyards. The first is an untrellised dryland vineyard at the Primo farm in Agter-Paarl and the second is a 33 year old vineyard at Fairview, where the vines are planted in decomposed granite, with koffieklip subsoils.

Vintage Information

2017 was another hot vintage. April and May were very dry, but winter brought the cold and welcome rainfall. Warmer weather in August contributed to an early, even bud burst. October and November were characterised by cool nights and warm days, which were perfect for flowering and berry set. The generally dry vintage resulted in very healthy grapes with no disease or rot.

Vinification

The Chenin Blanc grapes were hand harvested into small baskets over a three-day period and transferred to a well-ventilated barn where they were laid out on beds of straw to dry for approximately four weeks. During this time, the grapes lost about 75% of their volume, intensifying flavour and sweetness. The grapes were pressed and the juice fermented for eight months in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks prior to filtering and bottling.

Tasting Notes

This dessert wine has aromas of dried apricot, peach, pineapple, lemon and honey on the nose. Lychee and citrus flavours linger on the palate. The mouthfeel is rich and fruity yet well-balanced, with refreshing acidity. The Beryl Blanc will age well but is excellent now.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2017
Grape varieties 73% Chenin Blanc
27% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains
Region Paarl, Coastal Region
Winemaker Anthony de Jager
Alcohol (ABV) 11%
Acidity 9.8g/l
Residual Sugar 221.6g/l
Wine pH 3.41