Paper Kite 2015

Old Vine Semillon

Tasting Notes

Paper Kite is a new wine in the Thorne and Daughters stable. Our searches through the Cape Winelands bore fruit in the 2015 vintage when we were lucky enough to buy some fruit from one of the oldest producing vineyards in South Africa and the oldest producing Semillon blanc vineyard.

True to Semillon’s ability to produce very long-lived wines, the wine is very much in an embryonic phase of its life. It shows some spice, floral and savoury tones, with flavours of green melon and sweet herbs. Its incredible length is testament to the great age of the vineyard.

Nuts & Bolts

Semillon – Franschhoek 111 year old vineyard on alluvial soils

WO Western Cape
Alcohol – 13.4%
Residual sugar – 1.9 g/L
Total acidity – 5.6 g/L
pH 3.36

About The Wine

We feel extremely privileged to have been able to make wine from one of South Africa’s oldest vineyard. It is an experience that I find hard to describe, and one that I have found humbling in the extreme. I think humility is the only possible reaction that one can have when walking through this vineyard.

The vines are gnarled and bent, with many just barely clinging to their existence, and the yield is correspondingly tiny. A small number of Semillon gris and Clairette blanche vines can be found in amongst the Semillon blanc, all contributing to the unique character of this wine.

Semillon, especially from old clone vineyards, has come to epitomise what we are seeking in our wines. It provides us with wines of texture and depth, with none of the facile primary characteristics that we see in so many modern clones.

As with all of our wines, the winemaking is incredibly simple, as we have no desire to stand between the vineyard and its expression as a wine in the glass. There are no additions barring some sulphur dioxide in winter, and some more before bottling. No enzymes, cultivated bacteria or yeast are used in the wine’s production, and all barrels used are older than 4 years, imparting little, if any, oak tannin to the wine.

The wine shows little in the way of primary fruit, and has a wonderful idiosyncratic mix of spice and subtle green fruit. I think the wines initial shyness belies its great depth, and I believe it is a wine that will age gracefully for many years to come.