"Lots of whole bunch fermentation and an extended maceration add spice and tannins to this blend of mostly Mourvédre with 28% each of Grenache and Syrah and a splash of Cinsault. Complex, long and refreshingly low in alcohol, it's like a cross between a southern Rhóne red and a Beaujolais, brimming with red fruit sweetness."

93
Tim Atkin, MW


"Fresh, dark red. More vibrant on the nose than the 2012 version, offering Pinot-like complexity to the aromas of red fruits, leather, earth, resiny herbs and mint. At once fuller and fresher in the mouth too, in spite of its modest alcohol, conveying a captivating sweetness to its red berry and fruit flavors. A bit more pristine than the 2012 example but still a little musky. Finishes with dusty, leathery tannins and subtle persistence."

89
Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Analysis

Mount Abora 2013 The Abyssinian

Wine of Origin

Swartland

Varietals

57% Syrah, 29% Mourvèdre, 14% Cinsault

Analysis

Wine Maker: Johan Meyer

Alcohol: 12%

Total Acidity: 5.5 g/l

pH: 3.76

Residual Sugar: 2.4 g/l

Total Production: 350 cases


Vineyards

The grapes for Mount Abora wines are sourced from reputable sites in the Swartland. The soils are deep shale and schist and the vines are farmed essentially as dryland vineyards with supplementary irrigation to counter the extreme hot and dry conditions just before ripening. The vines are mostly planted on south and west facing slopes to optimize the benefit of cooler spots.


Vinification and Aging

Mount Abora makes natural wines, using zero commercial yeast and no other modern winemaking preparations. We harvest our grapes earlier at no more than 23.5° Balling to not only ensure lower alcohol levels, but to retain the brightness and life of our carefully tended grapes as they transform into the wines. We liberally use whole bunch fermentation on red and white wines, and allow post fermentation hot maceration on skins and stalks.

The Swartland grapes (from sites with shale and decomposed granite soils in Paardeberg, Malmesbury and Riebeek West) were crushed and fermented on stalks and skins in open fermenters. Natural fermentation was allowed and post- fermentation hot-soaking was done to integrate tannins and natural acids. The wines were matured separately in a collection of seasoned 500 liter French oak barrels for 12 months.


Tasting Notes

In imagining The Abyssinian we took our cue from the masters of Burgundy and as expressed in the wines of Crozes-Hermitage icon, Alain Graillot – a Northern Rhône Ranger by domicile, but a Burgundian at heart, making wines that are luminous and bright, with lower alcohol levels and a strong mineral core.

This is a natural wine, made without modern winemaking additives and trickery. The wine is unfiltered and sediment may occur. Decant and let it breathe for 45 minutes to an hour as the style of the wine dictates patience and a Zen approach to enjoyment. Enjoy with white truffles if you can find any. Otherwise enjoy with duck dishes and other deserving poultry, even those disguised as pork or wild boar.


2013 Vintage Notes

2013 had a perfect run up towards harvest with a really cold and extremely wet winter compared to the previous 2 years which were dry and produced tiny crops. Weather played along perfectly and although December was really hot there was enough water in the soil to satisfy the vines and harvest came about 2-3 weeks later than normal. Temperatures at harvest also stayed surprisingly moderate without the usual spikes we often get in the Swartland. We were able to pick at lower sugars levels and resulting wines are really generous and have great concentration and balance despite the crop being much bigger.