Benguela Cove Vinography Pinot Noir 2019

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Benguela Cove Lagoon

The first featured 2021 Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wine Award winner is the Benguela Cove Vinography Pinot Noir 2019 – a wine with personality, excitement and elegance. Expect an intriguing wine where the fruit is balanced with an umami character that makes this wine bold in flavor but with the finesse that the best Burgundy is known for. Cherry and boiled sweet aromas suit the soft, creamy tannin. Bright acidity with whiffs of violet announces the wine's cool climate home.

Benguela Cove Wine Estate is a family owned property in the Walker Bay region of South Africa. This is true cool climate terroir and similar to the sister property, House of Leonardslee in the United Kingdom. Owner Penny Streeter from the UK and the winemaker saw the potential of this uncut diamond. With faith and belief in the property, they decided to pick up this diamond in the rough and started shaping the bright shining jewel it is today. By pouring hard work, sweat and dedication into the project, they turned this vineyard that they are so fiercely passionate about, into one of the Cape's wine gems. Ms Streeter was determined to make this their lives' work and turning this wine estate into a shining success for generations to follow.

Focussed on producing site specific wines

The wine making philosophy is based on producing site specific wines, wines that are authentic and show off the cool maritime influence of the Atlantic ocean in the glass. The unique location of the vineyards, a mere two meters above sea level, does not only produce wines showing a strong sense of place, but also a style that's best described as classic. These wines have a level of balance, elegance, finesse and longevity to them which is synonymous to the property. All wines produced are classified as an Estate Wine because they are 100% grown, vinified and bottled on the estate to preserve what is true to Benguela Cove's terroir. Vinification takes place in the recently completed state of the art winery that is of a quality which is in keeping with the best in the world. All the wines are also both Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) as well as Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) certified and have recently obtained Champion status from the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI).

Cellarmaster Johann Fourie is very proud of his wines: “My role is quite simple, to combine the best efforts of earth and man to produce these beautiful wines. Halfway between the exactness of science and the unknown of art lies our approach to winemaking, this philosophy usually serves as a bridge to bring them together. The estate's focus is to make site-specific wines from strictly estate-grown grapes, to capture Benguela Cove's unique location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and produce the distinctive character of the wines.

Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wine Awards

Walker Bay as a region is quite ‘hot’ amongst both domestic and international wine trade at the moment. It’s the use of ‘Hermanus’ on our collateral and communication and the customer recognition thereof both locally and internationally that really surprises us and has been working well. What then helps to push awareness for the brand is the amount of guests we enjoy and the lasting brand experience we aim to offer on the estate.

But as they say, seeing (or should I say tasting) is believing! As a brand we are still a youngster but we're fortunate to have all our youngest vines on the 70ha property being 14 years of age and the rest all older which saves us from making wine from young vines while starting this amazing new brand in our recently completed state of the art winery.”

A three tiered brand range

Benguela Cove offers three brand ranges:

Estate Range: “This range is our proud and joy. Wines with individuality and a sense of place. Our soils, unique location and climate shines through in these wines. Stylistically there's a golden thread running through all the estate range wines: Elegance, balance, finesse and drinkability. Although very much classic in style you still find vibrant fruit with our signature fine, silky tannins on the reds. Wines that have proven to have remarkable longevity and cellaring potential, thanks to our high potassium soil content.”

The Lighthouse Collection Range: “As our cellar was constructed on a hill overlooking the lagoon and the Atlantic ocean, we decided to bring in a bit of a landmark element by including a real life lighthouse onto the side of the winery. The lighthouse image on the label is an exact copy of the one attached to the cellar. It all plays on the estate's proximity to the ocean and the cool maritime growing conditions.

With the Lighthouse Collection Range we incorporate a bit more colour and story telling. South Africa's got a shipwreck for every one kilometer of coastline! We're telling some of these stories on the back wine labels. Delicious to drink, it remains in line with our cool climate philosophy, carrying the stamp of both ‘Estate Wine’ and ‘Wine of Origin Walker Bay’. We looked to our environment for inspiration to create a range that will introduce wines from a site where nobody dared to plant vines two decades ago.”

Vinography Range: “In short Vino- (meaning wine) and -graphy (meaning a field of study and to write or document).”

Only those who explore, get to discover

Johann Fourie

“The instrument on the Vinography Range label is called a sextant. It was used by ships navigating their way past the southern tip of Africa. The sextant is a play on the winemaker exploring and navigating the best way through the Benguela Cove terroir.

It's always been a philosophy of mine that: ‘Only those who explore, get to discover’. Every year we experiment and try out new techniques for winemaking or growing grapes. As you know, I love trying out different and new techniques. Many of these techniques are new and cutting edge, and at other times the techniques go back centuries trying to emulate what was done ages ago.

First of all, I enjoy experimenting and exploring new ways to go about winemaking. But it's also to learn and understand how to best go about each of our vineyards given the grape cultivar, clone, soil or slopes. So every year we try out different techniques to learn the best practice with the aim of taking what we have learned and implementing that in a higher percentage the next year. So it's ultimately about improving quality with each vintage!

Every once in a while when we discover something amazing and something that really excites us we take some of that wine and bottle it separately as part of the Vinography Range as a memory of what we've done. So that memory is stored in a bottle instead of just writing it up in a diary. Vinography wines are our winemaking diary. Because these wines are special and we want to share and get customers onboard with our journey, we also make these wines available for sale in very limited quantities for VIP customers.

We do many experiments every year and each year different wines perform or are interesting. Therefore, the wines going into the annual Vinography Range are not the same set of wines every vintage.”

The Benguela Cove Vinography Pinot Noir 2019 is not a one-trick pony. Its sibling, the Benguela Cove Estate Pinot Noir 2020 also scored above 90 point in the 2021 Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wine Awards.

Visit the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate website to learn more about the award winning Benguela Cove Vinography Pinot Noir 2019.

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Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir Wine Awards

Published: 05-10-2021