Gabriëlskloof is a beautiful wine estate located near Bot River in the Overberg region east of Cape Town. It was purchased in 2001 by Bernhard Heyns, who had been on the lookout for the ideal place to plant vines. After planting, his first vintage was in 2009. We felt compelled to add Gabriëlskloof to our list because Peter-Allan Finlayson, Bernhard’s son-in-law, took over as winemaker from the 2015 vintage. The farm has 300 hectares, with 68 hectares planted to vines.
The vineyards are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future.The Semillon was sourced from low-yielding old vines estimated to be 34 years old in Franschhoek, adding a textural dimension often lacking in wines made from younger vines. The Sauvignon Blanc is from Gabriëlskloof, where the vines are 13 years old, situated on south-facing slopes with a combination of Table Mountain Sandstone and Bokkeveld Shales soils. The cool maritime climate of the farm results in naturally lower yields - typically six tonnes per hectare.
Magdalena is our uniquely South African take on a white Bordeaux style blend, combining Sémillon from Franschhoek and Sauvignon Blanc from Gabriëlskloof. It is intense and well-integrated on the nose, with a layered bouquet of lime flower and almonds in the background. The palate has a delicious sweet and sour zestiness, which is balanced with a creamy, almost chalky finish.