THE MINIMALIST APPROACH
Minimalist Wines is all about making quality wine with minimal intervention. It’s about focusing on the varietaIs I’m passionate about (chiefly cool climate Syrah), about treating them gently in the cellar and then allowing nature to shine.
At heart, it’s about respecting the fruit by using what occurs naturally in each vineyard and letting it ferment spontaneously, so the unique and fascinatingly diverse microflora speaks for itself. Then, relying on old-school techniques – like foot stomping and whole-bunch fermentation – and barrelling the wine in subtly seasoned Oak that’s already had a few fills.
Because every drinking experience is different – influenced by our individual palates and preferences, the people we’re with and the space we’re in at the time – you’ll find no detailed tasting notes here. However, if you ever have a Minimalist wine in your glass, I hope you’ll close your eyes, open your mind and enjoy whatever it reveals to you!
W.O. Cape Agulhas | Syrah | 2020
At its core, Stars In The Dark is an expression of Syrah from the southernmost tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans collide. The cold and inhospitable Agulhas coast is no easy spot for vines to grow. There’s little rain, the winds howl and the shallow, layered shale and koffieklip-littered soils provide little nourishment. The ripening season is cool and lengthy yet, with their roots driven deep, these tenacious Syrah vines bear minute, concentrated berries with electric, natural acidity.
W.O. Western Cape | Blended Syrah | 2019
Our newest addition to the Minimalist wines range. Exploring the diversity of Syrah planted in cool micro-climates of the Cape is my passion and this Blended Syrah represents another step in my never-ending search to find the best sites in the Winelands.
Trying new things, and doing things differently, is essential to personal growth and there are so many varietals and regions and ideas I want to learn more about. So, alongside my focus on Syrah, I’ll be bottling small batches of some of the most interesting discoveries I make, every year, under the label EXPERIMENTAL.
Like all Minimalist wines, EXPERIMENTAL grapes are given the gentlest treatment in the cellar and the name is an equally gentle reminder about the importance of being able to talk openly about our mental health challenges and feel OK about asking for (and getting) help.
It’s vital to feel there’s somewhere to turn when things get dark. So, 10% of the proceeds of every EXPERIMENTAL wine will always go to the South African Depression & Anxiety Group (www.sadag.org) to support the awesome work they do in the communities the grapes come from.
W.O. Elgin | Riesling | 2019
This bone dry, aromatic white has been on its lees (dead yeast cells) for 10 months in older French Oak. Sadly, these bottles are going to outlive the vines, making this the first and last chance to taste this beauty.
W.O. Wellington | Grenache Noir | 2018
Off the beaten track, Wellington holds many secrets! A cultivar that holds much promise for the future. Only one barrel (400 bottles) was produced.
Copper Crew is a funky brand, started by a pair of ginger-headed friends in the UK, to put quality wine in cans. Their idea is to offer great, easy-drinking wine, in convenient servings and environmentally-friendly cans, that can be enjoyed ‘anywhere, anytime and by anyone’. The plan is to introduce new varietals each season and, so far, the range includes a Chenin, a Rose and a Merlot.
Minimalist Wines sources, blends and cans the wines in South Africa and it’s great to be part of a growing trend that’s finding ways to promote healthy serving sizes and more sustainable packaging solutions. (Even if I am the only non-ginger member of the Crew!)