It’It's been a long time since I savoured every wine in a range, but the recently released Peacock Wild Ferment quartet from Waterkloof is one such – a well-crafted collection with more than a nod to the Old World, wines to savour and sip, and wait as flavours continue to titillate the palate even as they open up in glass. There have been many others retailing for far more than these that simply don’t compare in complexity and are way behind in finesse.
As the name implies, they were made using ambient or naturally present wild yeasts which certainly seem to add expression, and grapes from the farms bio-dynamic vineyards were added to their own and bought-in fruit. Minimal intervention and traditional winemaking practices have produced impressive results and winemaker Nadia Barnard can take a bow.
The chenin blanc 2014 is sourced from bought-in old bush vines, location not given. Well textured and structured, the fruit is more restrained than in many local chenins. European in style, with a lingering finish, and better with every sip.
The chardonnay 2014 comes from Schapenberg grapes, left six months in tank and barrel before transfer to barrel for a further two month. Its crisp, elegant, delightfully fresh, with minerality on mid-palate and a12,5% alcohol level . Some seafood, fresh linefish, French-style chicken in mustard cream would all pair well with this.
Peacock Wild Ferment merlot 2013 is an excellent example of how good our merlots can be. Dry, medium-bodied wine from Schapenberg grapes that follows with a mouthful of black fruit, tobacco and chocolate. No sign of green notes in this very enjoyable wine with smooth tannins that spent 18 months in French oak.
The Wild Ferment cabernet sauvignon 2013 is the only one of the four that I thought could have benefitted from more timein wood. That said, it’s fresh and smooth and elegant rather than robust, comes from Schapenberg vines, and presents a fine balance between fruit and tannins. Steak and gourmet pasta with meaty sauces would make marvellous partners.
At R65 each, this is a quartet to relish, both for budget-priced pleasure and Continental stylish restraint.