#314 Trizanne ‘The Search’ White Blend 2019
👃🏼 Generous nose of ripe mandarin, orange barley candy, some lime marmalade, and touches of tertiary beeswax.
👄 The palate is medium-light with some pretty fresh acidity. For the most part that mandarin takes the central role on the palate, with some slightly more tropical pineapple elements, too. The finish is a fascinating combo of meyer lemon pith and a lovely slightly salty element.
🔬 Wine of Origin Voor-Paardeberg. The blend is made up of 70% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne and 10% Roussanne. Grapes were picked on a few different occasions between the first week of January and the first week of February 2019. Wine was fermented with native yeasts in a combination of stainless steel tanks and large old oak foudres. 6 months on the gross lees.
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Trizanne Barnard is a hugely dynamic winemaker who has made a reputation for herself with her incredible cooler climate Sauvignon Blancs and Syrahs, with fruit sourced from some of the Southern most vineyard sites in Africa; including Elim, Sondagskloof and the Lower Duivenhoksrivier ward. But after working on a project in the Voor-Paardeberg ward with the legendary wine farmer Willie Mostert, Trizanne’s wine brain began buzzing with the new possibilities that the region offered her.
Laying the Groundwork
To make sense of Trizanne’s wine, it’s worth dwelling on the fact that farmer Willie Mostert – Tim Atkin’s Grower of the Year in his 2023 report – has been HUGELY influential in the Voor-Paardeberg over the past twenty years, due to his unusual choice of cultivar plantings. Since the turn of the millenium, he has been experimenting with cultivars like Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne when everyone else was planting Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The result of his prescience is that, today, as winemakers everywhere are searching for cultivars that thrive in the increasingly hot and dry cape winelands, Mostert’s Languedoc-inspired pick-and-mix vineyard blocks are the toast of the town. It was exactly such a search that lead Trizanne to Willie, and thus her Voor-Paardeberg white blend was born.
Inside the mind of a Vintner
More seasoned winehunters will no doubt have noticed that all three cultivars included in The Search 2019 have the potential to lack acidity; especially in warmer climates. Fortunately this is not Trizanne’s first wine rodeo. The way she tells it, the dominant portion of Grenache Blanc (70%) was harvested the earliest – 21-balling – which provided great acid, and lower alchohol. But, she did collect a smaller portion of Grenache a little later, just to get a bit of that balshy, rounded citrus fruit that Grenache Blanc offers at higher ripeness levels. The marsanne was always going to be a source of tannic structure, but again she picked part of the Marsanne a little earlier to further bolster the natural acid of the wine. Finally, when approaching her flower child – the Roussanne – to make up the final 10% of the blend, she wasn’t too concerned with early harvesting, and instead let it ripen like the blousy, floral, free spirit that this grape has always been.
Now, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you sip along to see how those vineyard choices manifested in the glass. But I have left my tasting notes and some technical specs to keep you going:
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