Lammershoek Cellar Foot Underwater Wine 2012

The wine was aged in eight old 225l French oak barrels underwater in a concrete fermentation tank for 12 months. It is a blend of Pinotage, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvedre. There was no loss of wine through evaporation or oxygen exchange through the wood. We did not need to top the barrels at all. Purity of fruit would correctly sum up this wine – it dominates the nose and the palate with tannins that are literally non-existent. The wine is pure drinking pleasure.

variety : Pinotage [ 50% Pinotage, 25% Grenache, 12.5% Carignan, 12.5% Mourvedre ]
winemaker : Craig Hawkins
wine of origin : Swartland
analysis : alc : 12.0 % vol  rs : 1.8 g/l  pH : 3.52  ta : 5.5 g/l  
type : Red   wooded
pack : Bottle  size : 0  closure : Cork  

ageing : Drink 2011 – 2016+

in the vineyard : A blend of 4 different vineyards which all ripen at different stages (Pinotage first and Mourvedre last), thus encompassing all spectrums of the harvest. All vineyards are farmed organically and lie on varying degrees of decomposed granite (the Mourvedre having the most amount of exposed granite in the soil). All 4 vineyards are bush vine trained.

about the harvest: 2012 was a very challenging vintage. Cool dry weather allowed a slow, even growing season, but this was abruptly interrupted by severe heat in early January with no rain for 3-4 months. This made conditions extremely difficult and yields were thus naturally low. Important decisions needed to be made in the vineyard of when to harvest the grapes so to allow enough material to be extracted into the final wine without allowing any unripe or over ripe flavours due to the heat.

in the cellar : Fermented occurred in large concrete tanks for 2 weeks with 50 % whole bunches. The juice was then racked off the skins directly into 8 x 225L barrels which were then submerged underwater in a large open concrete tank. The water was changed every 3 weeks to ensure fresh, clean water. Full malolactic fermentation took place underwater. After 11 months the wine was racked and blended and a touch of SO2 was added for the first time before being bottled un-fined and unfiltered.

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