De Toren Fusion V 2017
The Cape’s first five-varietal Bordeaux blend, Fusion V has become one of South Africa’s most sought-after and iconic bottlings. Elegant and seductive, this “Left Bank-styled” bottling exhibits intense flavors of blackberries, licorice, dark chocolate and spice with hints of rose petal. Silky tannins, a seamless structure and an elegant minerality add to the alluring complexity of this ageworthy, Cab-dominated blend.
Situated in the Polkadraai Hills of Stellenbosch at altitudes of 655 feet above sea level, the De Toren vineyards benefit from cooling breezes off False Bay, located approximately six miles to the south. There are 10 different soil types found on the estate, but the Cabernet-based Fusion V hails mainly from gravelly soils of Tukulu and Pinedene. 2017 was a very positive vintage, one that was drier with fewer cold spells than usual. Careful monitoring of soil and plant moisture was necessary to ensure that a healthy canopy and good quality berries were maintained. With very little soil moisture throughout the growing season the vineyards were naturally in balance. Vines were continuously provided small amounts of irrigation to ensure phenolic ripeness without high sugar levels. Constant high daytime temperatures in the beginning of the ripening season were followed by cooler temperatures which resulted in ripe berries with good color, low sugar and complex flavors. The grapes were handpicked in the cool, early morning hours and transported in small baskets to the winery, where they were hand sorted and de-stemmed. The grapes were gently crushed and gravity fed into open-top fermentation tanks, and regular manual punchdowns were performed during fermentation. The wine was basket pressed and gravity fed into 225 liter oak barrels (50% new, 50% second fill), where it was aged for 12 months. Each varietal component was vinified and aged separately. All varietals were aged in French oak with the exception of Malbec, which was aged in American oak.
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