At Creation, Pinot Noir is traditionally the first to be harvested and a couple of weeks ago we reported on this year’s great quality, with Cellarmaster JC Martin saying: “The Pinot grapes ripened slowly, evenly and fully, resulting in attractive fruit flavours balanced by crisp acidity to add to the freshness of the wines.”
With the harvest now drawing to a close, the focus is on Petit Verdot, which although a minor blending grape, significantly impacts the mid-palate mouthfeel of our Bordeaux-style blend. Typically endowed with notes of black cherry, plum, violet, lilac and sage, I think of this cultivar as the Notre Dame’s flying buttresses, which still stand despite the devastating fire two years ago. In a blend Petit Verdot holds the mid-palate; without it the front and the end will fall apart. I also like to say that Petit Verdot is to a wine what seasoning is to a dish.
But let’s look at what our vineyard and cellar teams have to say about the harvest.
Viticulturist Gerhard Bruwer: “I’ll remember 2021 as one of the outstanding harvests in the last decade or two. Throughout the season Mother Nature blessed us with almost perfect weather conditions, thus requiring very little human intervention – from the first Pinot Noir to be picked through to the last Petit Verdot. “
Winemaker Gerhard Smith: “It may have been a challenging year with cooler conditions and therefore slower ripening, yet it appears to be turning out very elegant, classic wines with lower alcohol and stunning flavour profiles.”
Assistant winemaker Kirsten Myburgh: “Nature played its part and everything happened according to plan. I can see how the wines are developing in the barrels and I must say they look really good – especially the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.”
Assistant winemaker Urle Hansen: “This year was especially good for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; the conditions were perfect, the quality of the grapes was excellent and one can already taste and see how the wines are developing in the barrels. I would say it was a good harvest with good memories!”
Intern Glenn Martin: “The Pinot and Chardonnay grapes looked really good.”
Intern Henning Blaauw: “The highlight was when the Jungheinrich (barrel forklift) arrived and we did not have to lift the barrels manually anymore!”
JC Martin sums up the 2021 vintage as a small, beautiful crop and is particularly enamoured with the standout Pinot Noir: “The physiological ripening came at a low sugar level, which means gorgeous perfumes and a low alcohol level. In line with our region’s renown for these two cultivars, the Pinot was closely followed by the Chardonnay which also performed well this year.”
Creation in the news
The Creation Culinary Team finds inspiration in the changing of the seasons and will soon be launching a terrific new pairing menu, not giving away too much right now. However, do come and enjoy the last few weeks of our popular Sensation Menu which I like to describe as “a mindful activity, raising awareness of, and pleasure in the here and now by engaging your senses to the full”. Click to make a reservation.
Situated some 18 km from the coastal resort of Hermanus, Creation is more than a wine farm; it is a glorious destination where a warm welcome awaits young and old. Click here to make a reservation.
Greetings from Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge.