Paul Cluver Close Encounter Riesling

12.10

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Paul Cluver Close Encounter Riesling is an off-dry style and is one of three Rieslings made on the Paul Cluver estate. In addition to this Close Encounter Riesling, a drier style (Dry Encounter) and a dessert wine (Noble Late Harvest) are also made. This is wonderfully fragrant, showing concentrated fruit and floral notes. Lots of mango, orange and frangipani with sweet melon and pineapple freshness. Lovely lime and lemongrass finish.

Country: South Africa
Region: Cape South Coast
Subregion: Elgin
Vintage: 2014
Colour: White
Grape Variety: Riesling
ABV: 9%
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Screwcap
Style: Juicy and ripe
Drink With: Sushi

At at time when Riesling was a particularly difficult wine to sell, Paul Cluver considered pulling out all the Riesling vineyards, luckily they decided against it. Since then, there has been a renewed interest world-wide in this noble grape variety, and 8.2 hectares of new Riesling vineyards have since been planted.

Paul Cluver currently has a total of 12.9 hectares of Riesling planted on the estate, making it the biggest single Riesling grower in South Africa. The oldest vines were planted in 1987, the most recent in 2006. The soil is predominantly Bokkeveld Shale and or light clay with a ferricrete top layer (surficial sand and gravel masses). Vine orientation is east/west on northwest and south facing slopes with an average gradient of 1:7. Height above sea level is 300 – 400 metres.

2014 was a very dry growing season but not warm, Paul Cluver experienced some of the coolest night temperatures of the past 8 years. Harvesting of grapes took place at night, starting at 10 o’clock in the evening. Due to the dry summer, harvesting was quite early, starting on 18th February and finishing on 2nd March.

In addition to vineyard sorting, a second stage of bunch and berry sorting took place at the cellar. The juice was given 8 hours of skin contact prior to fermentation to extract flavour and reduce acidity. Pressing was gentle and only free run juice was fermented. This Paul Cluver Close Encounter Riesling was made using a yeast strain known for slow, cool fermentation, and the fermentation was stopped at the desired sugar level. At this point the wine was racked, stabilised and bottled.

From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
The palate is well balanced with a slight viscosity, beautifully balanced with a winsome finish that lingers in the mouth. This is just delicious! 91 Points

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