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.
The white wine, called Saskia, was first produced in 2004. It has remained pretty constant in its source and the make-up of the blend from the start. It is effectively two-thirds Chenin sourced from 30 year old Stellenbosch vineyards, and one third Viognier sourced from vines farmed by Willi Mostert on the Paardeberg side of the Swartland.
More recent vintages have seen the (beneficial) addition of a barrel or two of Verdelho and Clairette, which with their lower alcohol and well-defined acidity, have made the blend a lighter stricter and more linear. All the components are fermented individually in older barrels and left on its lees for added complexity. Blending is only completed just prior to bottling. The Chenin generally goes through a partial malo-lactic fermentation, whilst the Viognier enjoys a full conversion.
The wine is named after Saskia-Jo, Miles and Samantha’s elder daughter.
This is a blended dry white wine comprised of 71% Chenin blanc, 14% Viognier, 8% Verdehlo and 7% Clairette blanche. The grapes for the Chenin blanc are sourced from two old bush vine vineyards planted in granite soils in the Swartland on the north eastern side of the Paardeberg. The two Chenin blanc vineyards are picked at different times, one slightly earlier in the season to preserve the mineral freshness and texture inherent in the grapes. The other vineyard is picked slightly riper as it expresses the beautiful bright yellow fruit typical of Chenin blanc from the Swartland. The Clairette blanche is picked at a very low sugar (19.5 brix) to preserve the acidity that is inherently low in this variety and add texture to the final blend. The Viognier is sourced from a vineyard on the southern slopes of the Paardeberg in Paarl planted on decomposed and colluvium granite soils. The grapes are harvested at around 23 brix. The Verdehlo is from a similar site to the Viognier vineyard. This is harvested at around 22.5 brix and is responsible for the intense grilled pineapple characters and vibrant acidity in the wine. The grapes are picked into small crates and put into a cold store overnight. The following morning the grapes are gently whole bunch pressed and the juice is settled overnight after which it is then run to 400 litre French oak barrels for fermentation. The fermentation is allowed to start naturally and once completed the wine is topped and matured sur lie for 10 months with regular lees stirring in French Oak, 14% being new. The wine was bottled in December 2017.
Colour: Brilliant golden straw colour.
Nose: Intense citrus and yellow fruit aromas on the nose with underlying honeysuckle floral notes. Notes of marzipan, toasted almonds and brioche hint to time on the lees in oak.
Palate: The entry on the palate bursts with citrus and white peach flavours leading to a textured and rich mid-palate. There is immense complexity in this wine with a sense of elegance and freshness. The wine finishes with a slight salinity which leaves one wanting more.
This wine is a perfect accompaniment to Lobster Bisque, Seafood Paella, Sushi or any mildly spicy dish.
|Region||Coastal Region, South Africa
|Grape Variety||Chenin blanc, Viognier, Verdehlo, Clairette blanche.|
|Producer||Miles Mossop Wines|