Babylon's Peak SMG 2018


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A fabulously aromatic Rhône-inspired blend, with bramble fruit, violets and complex smoky-mineral notes. The palate is seamlessly textured and beautifully balanced, with real lift yet no lack of power.

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The oldest Shiraz vines (thirty-three years old) go into this blend. They are a French clone, SH1, that is increasingly rare in South Africa because of its particularly low yield. Despite that, they still undergo green harvesting around veraison. The grapes were hand-picked.

The grapes were destemmed but not crushed. They underwent thirty-six hours’ cold maceration, and then fermented in open tanks for seven days at 24-26ºC. After a further five days’ skin contact, the wine was racked to French oak barriques (fifty percent new) for malolactic, blended, and then aged for sixteen months.

Data sheet
Vintage 2018
Alcoholic strength 14.5%
Country South Africa
Region Swartland
Grapes Shiraz 65%, Mourvèdre 30%, Grenache 5%
Body D/E
Vegetarian No
Vegan No
Organic No
Biodynamic No
Closure Cork
Babylon's Peak

Babylon’s Peak is both a stalwart and a relative newcomer within the resurgent Swartland winemaking scene. Stephan Basson’s great-grandfather established the farm in 1919, and wine was made in the old cellar here until 1948. It then fell into disuse until Stephan renovated the cellar and recommenced production. The vineyards, some of the highest in the region at up to 700 metres, lie on the slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, and have proven especially suitable for Chenin Blanc and Rhône varieties. The wines have a vivid purity, an almost crystalline concentration that belies Swartland’s hot climate just as the prices defy its hype.

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