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Neethlingshof The Caracal

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Neethlingshof’s reserve tier, formerly Lord Neethling, has been renamed The Short Story Collection. Drawing attention to the winery’s rich and varied narratives, the three-limited edition wines in the collection each focus on a specific aspect of the estate’s philosophy or history. They are made exclusively from hand-picked grapes.
This wine is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Cabernet Franc (34.5%), Merlot (9.5%) and Malbec (6%).
This Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend, that includes Merlot and Cabernet Franc, was previously labeled Laurentius. It is now named The Caracal, to celebrate the return of the rooikat (African lynx) to Neethlingshof since the start of its programme two years ago to conserve and rehabilitate areas of indigenous habitat, particularly the unique ecosystems surrounding the estate’s granite hills. Rooikatte are now also breeding on Neethlingshof.
The vineyards
The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard was planted in 1987 on north- west facing slopes, situated 120 m above sea level. The Merlot was planted in 1998 on a north-westerly slope, 210 m above sea level, while the Cabernet Franc vineyard, established in 1987, grows in deep red soils, 125 m above sea level.
These vineyards are grafted onto R99, 110 and 101-4 rootstocks and trellised, using a five-wire vertical fence.
The yield from all the vineyards was restricted to an average of 5 tons per hectare to further enhance the quality of the fruit used to produce this wine.
The winemaking
The grapes were harvested by hand at 24°to 25°Bal ling, with each varietal individually vinified. After destalking and crushing, in each instance, the mash was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks after adding a selected, pure yeast culture. Fermentation took place at 28°C and lasted seven da ys.
After malolactic fermentation the wine was matured in a combination of 300 litre new, second-fill French oak and about 10% American oak barrels, for a period of 16 months, before fining and bottling.
Winemaker’s comments
Colour: Dark, intense red

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