Asara Carillon (6/case) (R279/BOTTLE)
Asara’s Speciality range is an eclectic collection of wines that represent a twist on regional specialities.
Niche and unique, the range re-enacts the quality of an estate whose vinous history dates back to 1691.
Cultivar(s): Chenin Blanc (100%)
Bottle size: 500ml
Style: Noble Late Harvest
Area of origin: Polkadraai, Stellenbosch
Steeped in tradition, and as rare as it is unique, the Carillon is an instrument composed of 23 brass bells weighing in at well over a ton. Customarily housed in a belfry, or a bell tower, similar to the iconic feature found at Asara estate, the Carillon played correctly produces a beautiful harmony that belies its seemingly impossible complexity. Asara’s Carillon is made in a natural style that depends on a concert of factors that can’t be controlled by human hands.
For the grapes to go to the noble rot that produces the honeyed complexity so sought after in this style of the wine, a balance must occur between the vineyard humidity and the sunshine received by the vines. Two specific vineyards provide the grapes for the wine: both positioned ideally to receive both moisture and sunshine in good quantity. The grapes are left to hang on the vines long after ripening to encourage the development of botrytis, or noble rot. The grapes then desiccate to a fifth of their normal capacity, producing a deliciously sweet juice of syrup consistency. Asara’s Specialty range is an eclectic collection of wines that represent a twist on regional specialities. Niche and unique, the range re-enacts the quality of an estate whose vinous history dates back to 1691.
Produced from two vineyard blocks. The oldest, at twenty years of age, is situated in a small gully at an altitude of 200m. A small but permanent water source contributes humidity, while the soil type, Tukulu, is both moisture-retentive and high in mineral content, the latter contributing elegance to the fruit. The vineyard is planted northwest to southeast, attracting sun in the morning and afternoon. A second vineyard, aged 13 years, is planted at the much lower altitude of 60m above the sea, and as such attracts an abundance of mist from False Bay in the morning. The soil type is Glen Rosa, and the vineyard faces east to west, resulting in constant sun exposure towards the top of the canopy. The average yield is 4 tons per hectare, but noble rot renders this a much smaller harvest of desiccated fruit.
Harvest takes place in the coolness of early morning when the grapes reach 40-45° Balling. Small lugs are used to prevent the loss of juice. The grapes are cooled to 5°C overnight, and hand sorted the following morning. A bag press is used to press the grapes and stems, the latter for better traction, and the juice resides for two days on the skins and stems. The bag press is rotated, the juice is inoculated, and fermentation begins. When fermentation is well under way the juice is pressed again and racked to barrels; these being seven year-old 225 French barriques. The barrels are closed for 6-8 months to minimise exposure to oxygen, and turned periodically in lieu of opening, to stir up the lees. The wine is bottled immediately, preserving fruit freshness, elegance and acidity.
Golden yellow honey colour. With whisps of subtle tropical notes with hints of melon and apricots, dried fruits and herb-tinged honey on the palate.
Sweet tropical fruits and herb-tinged honey on the palate nished by a brisk acidity and dried pear.
Residual sugar (RS): 2.15 g/l
Total Acidity (TA): 9.4 g/l