The Drift Farm, Gift Horse, Single Vineyard Barbera, Overberg Highlands, South Africa, 2017
Driven by a desire to make individual, superb quality wines with exceptional character The Drift wines are carefully crafted by winemaker Bruce Jack using only grapes grown on the farm.
The Drift specialises in four wines - a single vineyard Rosé, a single vineyard Pinot Noir, a single vineyard Barbera and a blended red wine from various varieties and vineyard sites on the farm. The vineyards planted are in small, irregular shaped plots to suit the various contours of the land, and the land is organically farmed. In the winery, these plots are fermented separately then married together to find balance and complexity.
This is a very small vineyard – 0.4 ha. crops are kept very low, only allowing one bunch per shoot. The rest is sacrifised to the soil, the porcupines and mountain buck. The porcupine in particular have a feast. Planted in 2002, like the Mysteries Pinot Noir, the vineyard has settled down into a natural balance between vegetative growth and fruit production which they expect at around 3.5 tons of fruit per hectare. Planted on a mixture of decomposed granite, sandstone and rocky substrate (with calcified limestone) mostly from the weathered mountainside (although there is some very leached white porcelain clay around as well) this vineyard reflects the minerality in the soil. The block slopes gently to the west and looks to the north west, towards Cape Town, where much of the wine is enjoyed.
The block is hand-picked in three or four passes over a week. The grapes are fermented in open top fermentors with 25% whole bunches. the tanks are small vessels and are hand plunged 5 or 6 times a day. Fermented wild, these can take awhile to complete fermentation. We then age the wine in 225 litre barrels, mostly old, for 18 months.
Type: 225 litres - mixture of oak. Mostly old French
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 18
For many this is the essence of The Drift Farm. The nose shows an intoxicating explosion of super ripe mulberry, black cherry, ripe plum, white pepper and fynbos herbs (especially Buchu). The palate echoes this intensity and unctuousness with rich, black mulberry, a hint of creamy caramel and savoury, wild fynbos herbs adding a nice salty note. The tannins are comfortable, but present, offering a warming structure that balances the mocha vanilla of the wood. This wine benefits from being decanted a day or two before consuming. It will age gracefully for at least 20 years if stored correctly.
Needs something rich and savoury... like a good Steak!
6 x 75cl