BLANKbottle Moment of Silence 2015
Wine of Origin
60% Chenin Blanc, 30% Chardonnay, and 10% Viognier
Wine Maker: Pieter H. Walser
Owning a farm limits you to the vineyards on your specific farm. I love traveling and experiencing many different areas. I want to make area specific wines, wines that will be ambassadors for areas. I harvest 55 tons from 47 vineyards; 26 different varietals and growing – anything from Fernao Pirez to Cabernet. In the 2015 harvest, I drove 13 000 killometers in 100 days to pick my grapes.
Vineyard-site selection is where all wine begins, and to me personally, one of my most crucial decisions. The Chardonnay in the blend is still from Twyfeling and the Chenin is from Professor Kukurowitz – a block named after the professor who field-selected, multiplied and planted the vineyard 51 years ago. The third component, Viognier, is from a small block on the foothills of Groenberg.
Vinification and Aging
It all started off with a friend, Jan de Villiers, who took me to Wellington. To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on the area at first but by lunchtime that day I had completely changed my view. At the time I was not aware of it, but I was sitting at the original Hauptfleisch family table (more than 200 years old) and about to buy Chardonnay from a farm called Twyfeling (originally also owned by the Hauptfleisch family, 230 years ago). What makes this so significant is that my second name is Hauptfleisch, hence the H. in Pieter H. Walser. It refers to my mom’s maiden surname. And the Hauptfleisch family that owned Twyfeling turned out to be my direct family, 7 generations ago… I only discovered this 2 years after that first day in Welllington – quite a confirmation don’t you think? Since 2007, the Moment of Silence has evolved into a area-specific white blend. The Chardonnay in the blend is still from Twyfeling and the Chenin is from Professor Kukurowitz – a block named after the professor who field-selected, multiplied and planted the vineyard 51 years ago. The third component, Viognier, is from a small block on the foothills of Groenberg.
All these varietals fermented spontaneously in OLD french oak barrels. It was aged a year in barrel on the lees, blended and bottled. It’s NOT your typical wooded wine. You can hardly taste the wood. The wine is fresh! It represents and express the vineyards from Wellington, NOT the barrels from France…
The wine is complex, leesy, and yet subtle. Showing notes of citrus blossom, fresh golden apple, and apricot. Underpinned by acidity with a round and creamy mouthfeel. The oak handling is well integrated and not showy in any way.
2013 Vintage Notes
In 2015 the harvest ran between a week and a month early in places. The early and dry growing season combined with a handful of heat waves (including the hottest day on record for more than a century) led to one of the earliest harvests on the books in South Africa. During the first days of March a wild bush fire raged through the historic region of Constantia, impacting many of the nearby vineyards. Around 5,000 hectares were ravaged by fire, which took five days and hundreds of firefighters to tame. In the aftermath, many producers faced scorched vineyards and in the worst case completely destroyed blocks. Despite the early harvest and wildfires, 2015 had lower yields, and a great concentration to the fruit – making it one of the best vintages in the last 15 years.