JUST THE FACTS
Price: R89.00 (as of Oct 2016)
Winery: Dorrance Urban Winery
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Wine Region: Swartland
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: High if you’re into fads.
Occasion: Whenever you’re chilling with your hip, urban, vegan, karmic, earthy homies.
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If you read nothing else
Swartland chenin grapes, urban winery, mystic eastern label design….heck, this baby be trendier than a vegan buddhist in Yeezy sneakers. That said, it’s also very nice.
A lovely open nose of yellow apple, baking spice, and leesy yeast elements.
On the palate, the fruit is gorgeously couched in a soft creamy mouthfeel, filled out by lime cordial acidity and clean lemon zest.
Beneath it all there is a hint of oak and a marvelous grapefruit citrus tail.
What good is a concrete egg?
There is some quite frankly guano-crazy stuff that gets said about the mystical benefits of concrete eggs in wine cellars, but once you’ve managed to wipe that sludge off your galoshes, you can still wade for miles through some actual real practical and (mostly) verifiable benefits to using concrete eggs in place of oak barrels, or stainless steel tanks…
“It is a known fact that concrete eggs in a winery concentrate the celestial energy in the fermentation gases…”...said the lovechild between L Ron Hubbard and a star-gazing circus elf
A narrow and controllable temperature range in the cellar is always a good thing. For everything from maceration, to fermentation, to maturation.
The relatively thick walls in a concrete egg are very effective insulators, which is essential for producing a fermentation process that is both more predictable and also more controllable.
Oak barrels allow micro- levels of oxygen to pass from the atmosphere into the wine. Concrete eggs are porous like oak, and so provide a micro-oxygenation of their own sort. But the thick walls in a concrete egg don’t allow oxygen to come from outside, but rather it is released into the wine from the bubbles that formed during the setting of the concrete.
Chemical reactions are affected by temperature change. But chemical reactions also cause temperature change.
If wine in a tank is not allowed to flow freely (or gets trapped by nooks or crannies in a tank) then warmer liquid is less able to mix with cooler liquid, which can result in uneven fermentation. Luckily eggs have no corners, so wine can mingle ceaselessly until the cows come home.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.