Thorne & Daughters was started in 2013 by John and Tasha Seccombe with the aim of producing authentic wines from the Western Cape. It is widely acknowledged to be one of the forerunners of the ‘New Wave’ wine movement in South Africa. Thorne & Daughters is mainly focused on producing Cape white blends, from 15 different growers in Bot River, Stellenbosch, Voor Paardeberg, Swartland, Citrusdal, Franschhoek and Overberg. Fruit sourcing has relied on a network of close winemaking friends and knocking on doors to gather the various parcels with which they work. John and Tasha did not want to be limited geographically, so the net was cast wide and has been driven by “a happy synergy of people, place, soil and vines”.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for the ‘Snakes & Ladders’ are sourced from the Citrusdal Mountain district from a vineyard high up on the slopes of the Skurfberg mountain. This remote area, more known for rooibos tea and sheep farming, has a few isolated parcels of grapes. The dry-farmed, 35-year-old bush vines are planted on deep red sandy soils over clay. The old bush vines are low yielding and produce incredibly concentrated grapes which are harvested by hand.
The 2019 vintage, like 2018, was characterised by warm and dry conditions with the Cape drought still very much in force. The challenge was to pick the grapes early enough to retain good levels of natural acidity combined with sufficient fruit ripeness. John and Tasha monitored the ripeness levels of the grapes assiduously in the run up to harvest to ensure that they were picked at the perfect moment and harvesting of the Sauvignon Blanc for the ‘Snakes & Ladders’ took place on 29th January 2019.
Upon arrival at the winery, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were whole bunch pressed in an old Vaslin press. This ensured an oxidative and very gentle pressing - yielding a very clear juice. The juice was left to settle overnight and was then racked into old, 225 and 600-litre French oak barrels for fermentation with natural yeasts. After fermentation, the wine underwent spontaneous malolactic fermentation and was aged in barrel on its lees for around 10 months. No sulphur additions were made until August following the vintage once the wine had had time to settle. The final blend was assembled in November and was bottled at the end of December.
TASTING NOTESAn atypical South African Sauvignon Blanc which does away with overbearing primary fruit. The nose boasts aromas of blackberry leaf, wild grass and herbal nuances along with honey melon, ripe citrus and a flinty, earthy smokiness. The palate is bold with a voluptuous structure balanced by a bracing acidity that carries the flavours onto the lasting finish.
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Sustainable, Vegan, Vegetarian