Viura is a white wine grape that has its origin in Spain, where it is well known and widely planted varietal in mainly the regions of Rioja and Catalonia. It is also known as Macabeo and also widely planted in the southern regions of France.
The vines yield generous amounts of big grape clusters, bigger berries with a thicker tough skin. Viura tends to manage drought stress extremely well, which makes it well suited for drier, warmer climates.
Known for its versatility in still, sparkling (think Cava), dry and sweet wines, the taste of Viura is seen universally as a fresh, floral and aromatic wine when harvested early and aged without oak. When harvested late, aged in oak, it tends to be weighty, honeyed and nutty.
These 200 vines sit on a bed of ancient river stone about 4 meters deep. Combined with the rich, fertile silt deposits of this old-world flood plain which is the Breedekloof Valley, the vines are robust and thrive, producing fruit that perfectly accents their heritage and terroir.
Like the previous year, 2021 was also earlier ripening than expected. While the rains in winter of 2020 was good, it was also later, and filled ground levels till later in the year, giving a result of lower soils temperatures and delayed budburst in Spring of 2020
With a few less growing, or ripening days under the belt, the Viura came in perfectly ripe at 23.5 balling, but with a fantastic natural acidity
Harvesting was done on the 9th of March 2021 by hand, and the grapes were transported in fruit bins to the cellar for vinification.
After a light crush into plastic bins, the mash spent 4 days cold before fermentation so as to be able to extract all those flavor precursors that are just under the seemingly thick skin cells.
Fermentation began naturally and was allowed to proceed for 3 days on the skins, after which we pressed the fermenting must. Fermentation was then allowed to naturally conclude its process in a 225L and 500L neutral white wine barrel.
Maturation after fermentation, took place in the same barrels for 5 months with monthly stirring, or battonage of the barrels until the wine was racked and bottled without any fining or filtration on the 25th of August 2021.
The color of this wine is an alluring golden hue with a green tinge
On the nose there is first hint of reductiveness – but in a really good way (not struck match and H2S), think more wet river rocks and flint. It starts out ever so slightly dusty and then opens up with aromas of chamomile, elder flower and jasmine flower perfume. It really is very engaging with very fine citrus blossom sweetness, some vanilla and freshly ground cinnamon sticks.
On the pallet the weight is amazing! Given the little extra skin contact, the subtle tannins that are present, create an environment that makes all those elegant flavors really “blossom”. Full, flavorsome, rounded sweetness, this wine is the epitome of balance. As to the finish, one can only describe it as ethereal. The ease with which the wine seems to disappear but continues to play is very elegant. It leaves a lovely weight that lingers, almost like the sensation and experience of eating candy floss! It’s very cerebral in quality, and lovely to enjoy.
Alc: 13.5 %
RS: 2.2 g/l
TA: 5.4 g/l
VA: 0.41 g/l
Sesame crusted trout on rice noodles with an Asian broth
Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe.
Photography: Tasha Seccombe.
Styling: Nicola Pretorius & Tasha Seccombe.
View Recipe Here