||The Fledge & Co
||Stellenbosch, South Africa
Green apple, citrus and pear
||Green apple, lemon, pear, baking spices, butter, oak and almonds
Old bush vines, barrel fermented and 'sur lie' fermented.
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 cool extended ferments in old French oak, matured sur lie (on the lees), bottle unfined & unfiltered.
Vineyard – Dry land bush vine “Kliprug” climat rooted in the decomposed granitic ‘n ironstone rich soils of the Bottelary Hill planted in the early ‘80s, combine with the swan song appearance from the cornerstone ’81 & ’82 bush vines on ferricrete & decomposed granite en route to False Bay in Faure. Each site is hand harvested at dawn from the first week February until beginning March. A tumultuous yet extremely concentrated vintage due to the preceding lean years characterised by small bunches, concentrated flavours at low sugar & as per usual picking on acid rather than sugar. Continual tasting in the vineyards & relying on the farmers knowledge of their vines were cardinal to success in this vintage. The preceding vintages prepared us for the wild ride which was 20-Hateen (tongue in cheek!).
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 to old 400L French oak with fair amount of fine lees, inoculated with non-interventionist yeast strain & cool fermented for 18 days, after which each parcel was racked into older 228L French oak puncheons for 9 months of barrel tempering – after which all the Bottelary barrels & a single Faure barrel were blended into tank with fair portion of fine lees for 4 months to settle 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 – Another nuanced vintage with bruised green apple, citrus, pear skin ‘n baking spice with great length, chalky finish and grippy tannic tug. A perfect partner for roast fowl, fresh crustaceans & other denizens of the deep, firm fromage or enjoy as an aperitif. Serve lightly chilled & best decanted. Cellaring is advised as Hoeksteen is most definitely a Steen which benefits from careful cellaring, as it slowly gains complexity, nuance & generosity.
2015 – 4 Stars Platter’s / 91 pt winemag.co.za / 90 pts Tim Atkin MW
2016 – 91 pt Neal Martin Vinousmedia.com
2017 - 92 pt Tim Atkin MW SA Report 2018 & 4 ½ Stars Platter’s