Until May 2018, Miles Mossop’s day job was as winemaker at Tokara, a position he had held since the winery started-up in 2000. The agreement Miles had with GT Ferreira, the owner of Tokara, allowed him to vinify 10 tonnes of bought in grapes and put them under his own label each year. Now completely independent and now making wines in two different locations in Stellenbosch, Miles is starting to extend both production and the range he produces.
Miles Mossop Wines started out as a three-wine project. In 2006, the second red wine was launched. Max, named after their son, was a 6,000 bottle blend from the 2004 vintage, made up of Cabernet (56%), Petit Verdot (22%) from Bellevue in Stellenbosch, and Merlot (22%) from Zelma Long’s Vilafonté vineyard in Paarl. The wine spent a total of 20 months in 40% new French oak and won a Gold Medal at the well-respected Old Mutual Trophy Show.
The blend for the 2005 was 56% unirrigated Cabernet Sauvignon from Bellevue, 20% Petit Verdot from the same source and (since Vilafonté built their own production facility and Miles was no longer making their Merlot component at Tokara), the source was replaced by fruit from a friend’s farm in Banghoek valley, a relatively cool location off the Helshoogte Pass. This also means that since the source for the Merlot switched, the wine was also entitled to the Wine of Origin Stellenbosch appellation.
Subsequent vintages have all been drawn from the same vineyard sources, although the 2009 and 2010 vintages saw the introduction of a small portion of Stellenbosch Malbec to the blend.
This wine is a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 23% Petit Verdot from Vineyards around Stellenbosch. The vineyards are specially selected according to their age and site from various parts of Stellenbosch, mostly unirrigated and all low yielding (4 to 6 t/ha). This gives a pure expression of its environment in the wine. The grapes are ripened to peak maturity (between 24 and 25 degrees brix) before being hand harvested and delivered to the cellar at which point they are placed in a cold store overnight at 4 degrees Celsius. After desteming the berries pass over a sorting table for the removal of all unwanted material. The berries then fall through a crusher and drop, via gravity, into small open wooden and stainless steel fermenters. Fermentation takes place by the yeast naturally occurring on the grape and can take anything up to 14 days to complete. Extraction occurs through regular pump overs and punch downs. Once fermentation has completed the wine may stay on the skins for an additional period of time which is dependent on the tannin development and ripeness, after which the wine is drained off and pressed in a vertical basket press. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel after which the wine is racked and returned to barrel for further maturation. Maturation takes place in small 225 liter French barriques of which 29% is new and lasts for 22 months with regular rackings. The wine received no fining or filtration before bottling. The wine was bottled in January 2018.
Colour: The wine has a vibrant garnet colour which extends to a plum red rim.
Nose: The nose is a mélange of red and black briary fruit intertwined with hints of tobacco leaf and cedar wood.
Palate: The wine enters the palate with juicy red and blackcurrant flavours with a clean textured mid-palate and a hint of savoury notes. The finish is long, dry and textured with just a touch of vanilla and toast.
Best served with venison pie, beef fillet with a red wine sauce or an oxtail stew. The wine also pairs well with hard cheeses.
|Region||Stellenbosch, South Africa
|Grape Variety||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot|
|Producer||Miles Mossop Wines|