The fundamental law of nature means that we all take part in the circle of life and I know as I go through mine many bottles of memorable wine will have been an integral part of it! One such wine I had the pleasure of enjoying last week was Waterkloof’s recently released vintage of their blended white, Circle of Life 2011, with its interesting wrap around label depicting drawings of the vine through its circle of life!
Harnessing the integrated elements of nature coupled with Waterkloof’s bio-dynamic approach to winemaking, this refined wine, made up of three white cultivars, is a reflection of the estate’s defining sense of origin with its singular variations in soils, terrain and climatic conditions.
“The name, Circle of Life, reflects the renewal of nature. I regard the vine as a perfect expression of nature’s ability to renew itself every year and its annual cycle a metaphor for birth, production, death and rebirth once again at the advent of a new season,” reports Waterkloof winemaker Werner Engelbrecht.
Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2011 is made from site-specific vineyard blocks located high on the slopes of the Schapenberg which have contributed to the 2011 blend. Home to 120 hectares of vines and fynbos on the idyllic outskirts of the Helderberg Winelands, Waterkloof rises up to 300 metres above sea level with the Hottentots-Holland and Helderberg Mountains as its backdrop.
“Our focus has always been to gain a better understanding of Waterkloof and the individual characteristics of its vineyards, and how the individual vineyard blocks in different parts on the farm produce wines that are stylistically very different. Our Circle of Life collection, which also comprises a red counterpart, is one that represents Waterkloof to a tee,” explains winemaker Werner Engelbrecht.
Rather than pursuing a certain style, such as a Bordeaux blend, Werner and his team crafted a wine that they feel represents the entirety of Waterkloof. Circle of Life White 2011 is not a wine driven by varietal or a specific vineyard, but it is a wine that reflects the philosophy of wine making at Waterkloof.
Following Werner’s ‘hands nearly off’ philosophy, the grapes were whole-bunch pressed in Waterkloof’s clever gravitational cellar to delicately extract only the finest juices and fermentation was allowed to occur naturally relying solely on wild yeasts.
The wines making up the blend were vinified separately and aged on their lees for ten months prior to blending. Some of the components (50% of the blend) were aged in old oak barrels, which added luscious richness, complexity and weight to the palate.
Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2011 shows subtle hues of straw with a tinge of green tempting you to relish the aromas of flinty peach and lime. The palate is rich with integrated flavours of tropical fruit and baked apple with delicious creamy vanilla heralding the lengthy finish.
“This wine is just at the beginning of its life and will only improve and become more complex as time goes by,” claims Werner. Previous vintages have proved this so although a lovely wine to drink now I will be laying down a few bottles in my cellar for further enjoyment!!!
Expect to pay: R149.50