Back in 1994, long before founding Waterkloof -his biodynamic vineyard overlooking False Bay- Paul Boutinot started a company named False Bay Vineyards in South Africa, seeking out and giving a new lease of life to the many old and under-appreciated vineyards in the coastal winelands. These treasures were otherwise destined to be lost in the large co-operative blends that still dominated South Africa’s wine industry back then. Unusually for that time, Paul transformed those gems into wines with a minimum of intervention with, for example, wild yeast fermentations and no additions of enzymes, acid or powdered tannins. Back then he was swimming against the tide. More recently, there has been a global renaissance of a more natural approach to winemaking. However, even today, making wine this way at the price-level remains a rarity. Made by False Bay Vineyards & Waterkloof Cellarmaster Nadia Langenegger, Revenant celebrates this rebirth of a traditional more natural approach to winemaking, both in South Africa and internationally.
All grapes are hand-picked to ensure that only the finest berries are used. We harvest according to taste (the traditional way) and spend most of our time in the vineyards to see how the flavours develop. The grapes are then sorted by hand and whole-bunch pressed in our modern basket press to extract the juice in the gentlest way. The juice is then settled naturally for 24 hours without enzymes, after which it is racked from the settling tank into 600-litre barrels, concrete eggs and a stainless-steel tank. The naturally occurring yeasts or “wild yeasts” are allowed to start the fermentation process. This leads to a much longer fermentation process with a slow release of aromas and a more structured palate. Fermentation took between one and six months to complete, after which the wine was blended and left on the gross lees for a further six months until bottling with no stirring of the lees taking place. We do not add any acid, enzymes or commercial yeast during the winemaking process, nor do we fine the wine, with only a light filtration and a small addition of sulphur added as a preservative prior to bottling.
A variety of yellow fruits and limes can be picked up on the nose with a touch of cumin. The palate shows a fresh acidity with a lingering mouth feel- an effortlessly balanced wine.