Joostenberg Wines: South Africa Paarl
Tyrrel and Philip Myburgh are the fifth generation proprietors of this family farm located in the Western Cape. In addition to wine, they grow fruit and raise cattle.Mixed agriculture was practiced from the early days and wine and brandy was made on the farm from the early 1800’s until 1947. Joostenberg was bought by the Myburgh family in 1879 and ownership has remained in the family since then. In 1947 winemaking ceased and for the following 52 years grapes were sold to the local co-op. In 1999 brothers Tyrrel and Philip resumed the winemaking tradition.Joostenberg is situated in the Muldersvlei area approximately 15km north of Stellenbosch and 15km west of Paarl. The wines carry the “Wine of Origin Paarl” designation. Annual rainfall is 640mm, most of which occurs during winter. During the ripening period the grapes are cooled by morning mists and late afternoon southerly winds (the “Cape Doctor”) blowing from the Atlantic Ocean.Soils are predominantly duplex (i.e. multi-layered) with a heavy clay subsoil and topsoil which varies between decomposed granite and shale. They currently have 32 hectares under vine.In keeping with both a commitment to environmentally friendly farming practices and a desire to produce wines that reflect their origin all the vineyards are farmed according to organic principles. They do not irrigate and have low yields for the region. They keep the winemaking as natural as possible, and will receive organic certification later this year.A minimal intervention approach is followed in the winery. Most wines are fermented using natural yeasts and all additives are kept to an absolute minimum. The use of new wood is restricted in order to maximize the terroir expression.
2015 Joostenberg Chenin Blanc, ‘Die Agteros’
Tasting Notes: A complex array of aromas and flavours. Hints of baked apple, honey and flint stone. The palate is rich yet elegant and is marked but a subtle, creamy texture.
“Our oldest Chenin Blanc vineyard, planted in 1982, was used to make this wine. For the first 20 years its fruit was sent to the local co-op and used for rather modest dry white blends. To be honest it’s an ugly, gnarly looking vineyard and year after year its removal was contemplated, but as soon as it was used to make wine under the Joostenberg label its quality was recognized. We now care for this vineyard lovingly every year. The name is derived from the Afrikaans saying “agteros kom ook in die kraal” (translated as “the hind ox also gets there eventually”) because the vineyard took a long time to prove itself and now it’s our favourite vineyard.” –Tyrrel Myburgh, proprietor
The vineyard is situated on the south western edge of the Paarl region. The climate is Mediterranean – i.e. cold, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Soils are a combination of decomposed granite and Malmesbury shale. In order to optimize the influence of terroir the vineyard is managed according to organic principles and is dry-farmed. Vine age is 33 years.
The grapes were all hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. The resulting juice was fermented, using ambient yeast, in old oak barrels and then left on the lees to mature for 10 months. Full malolactic fermentation occurred.
2014 Joostenberg Family Blend Red
This wine is a blend of 88% Syrah, 11% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier
The vineyards lie on the south western edge of the Paarl region. The climate is Mediterranean – i.e. cold, wet winters and dry summers. Soils are a combination of decomposed granite and Malmesbury shale. In order to optimize the influence of terroir, all of the vineyards are managed according to organic principles and some are farmed without any irrigation. Vine age varies from 13 to 16 years. The grapes were all hand-picked, de-stemmed, lightly crushed and then fermented in small open-topped tanks. The varietals were harvested and fermented separately. After 10 months maturation in seasoned oak barrels the wine was blended and then matured for a further 5 months before being bottled.
This is a medium-bodied, blended red wine made for family and friends.
2015 Joostenberg Family Chenin Blanc, ‘J.’
Fruit was sourced from two dry-farmed Chenin vineyards (33 years and 26 years old). Both vineyards are situated on the Joostenberg estate. The vineyards lie on the south western edge of the Paarl region. The climate is Mediterranean – i.e. cold, wet winters and dry summers. Soils are a combination of decomposed granite and Malmesbury shale. In order to optimize the influence of terroir the vineyards are managed according to organic principles and they are dry-farmed.
The grapes were all hand-picked, some were de-stemmed before being pressed and some were whole-bunch pressed. Natural fermentation occurred in stainless steel tanks at 16 to 20 degrees Celsius. Bottling took place after 4 months maturation on the lees.
Tasting Notes: Fruit forward and fresh with typical Chenin Blanc aromas and flavours of baked apple and tropical fruits. There is a chalky character that seems to be typical from these vineyards in most vintages. A dry white wine for any occasion, with or without food.
2013 Joostenberg Syrah, ‘Klippe Kou’
Tasting Notes: The nose is characterized by ripe berry and savoury aromas, and a slight smoky perfume. The wine is full-bodied and ripe with typical spice and peppery flavours. The finish is dominated by fine, yet firm tannins.
This Syrah, named “Klippe Kou” which translates to “Chewing Rocks” in Afrikaans, is made using traditional techniques including partial whole-bunch fermentation, open topped fermentation tanks, and maturation in used barrels. The aim is to produce a wine which displays varietal typicity and is true to its origin. Only organically grown, estate grapes were used for this wine. The soils are duplex (i.e. multilayered), with rocky topsoil and clay sub-soil. The average age of the vineyards is 13 years. This wine is certified as ‘organic’ by Control Union.
Grapes were hand-picked and most bunches were de-stemmed. About 30% of the bunches were fermented with their stems. Fermentation occurred in open fermenters and the wine then spent 18 months in large, 500L oak barrels for a period of 18 months.