The vineyards of Babylonstoren are nestled in slopes of Simon’s Mountain, just north of Stellenbosch between Paarl and Franschhoek. The name dates back to a time when a large hill on the property became a routine meeting spot for the diverse local population. It became referred to as “The Tower of Babel” due to the converging of the many languages spoken in the area. The farm is owned by former magazine editor Karen Roos. The first vintage was in 2011. The cellar master is Charl Coetzee (formerly of Kaapzicht and Clos Malverne) and the winemaker is Klaas Stoffberg (formerly of Ernie Els Wines).
The farm grows many varietals, including chenin blanc, viognier, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, merlot, and petit verdot. Chardonnay and pinot noir grow in the highest site on the property, over 600 meters (1,968 feet) above sea level. Standing on Simon’s Mountain, looking over these vineyards, you can see Table Mountain to your west on a clear day. The shale and granite soils are not the only things contributing to Babylonstoren’s unique terroir. The farm boasts a large garden and is surrounded by various types of agriculture, fruit, lavender, herbs, and fynbos, all of which give Babylonstoren’s wines a strong sense of place. The estate’s two restaurants and hotel take full advantage of all the farm has to offer, with “farm to table” taking on a literal, meaningful sense.
Wines are created in the high-tech cellar, with pressing and stainless steel aging occuring at ground level. Wines that will require oak aging are pumped below ground to the cellar. Cellarmaster Charl Coetzee and winemaker Klaas Stoffberg both have extensive experience producing wine both abroad and at home in South Africa. They work together to ensure that wines are as simple and pure as possible, striving for “Truth to the area we are situated in on the slopes of Simonsberg, and simplicity by making elegant and balanced wines as natural as possible.”
16.5% cabernet franc
12% petit verdot
Grown in a combination of Klapmuts/Longlands type soils of Malmesbury shale origin as well as Oakleaf and Hutton type soils of Cape granite origin. Varietals are harvested and made separately. Fermentation take place on the skins for about seven days then goes through an extended maceration period of about one week. Next, the wine ages in 50% new and 50% 2nd & 3rd fill 300 litre French oak barrels and undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is then racked and returned to the barrels for 12 months.
Pencil shavings, sweet tobacco, liquorice, and dark cherry chocolate on the nose. Red cherry and chocolate on the palette, a chewy mouthfeel and a long finish.
A rack of lamb or a good piece of beef. Perfect with barbeque, (“braai”) or a holiday feast.
Drink 1-2 years after vintage. Age up to 5 years.
45% chenin blanc
Candide is a blend of all the white cultivars grown on Babylonstoren. The chenin blanc was softly pressed, then underwent cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks for three weeks. It was racked of the primary lees and kept on the secondary lees for four months prior to bottling. The viognier, chardonnay and sémillon were fermented in second- and third-ﬁll French oak barrels and kept on the lees for four months, before being blended with the chenin blanc. 2020 was the ﬁrst year of experimenting with ageing small components of the total Candide blend in Nomblot cement eggs and terracotta clay amphoras.
Tropical fruits on the nose. On the palate a fresh, fruit-driven wine with peach, lime and litchi ﬂavors. The wine is refreshing yet complex, with tropical ﬂavours and a lingering, fresh acidity.
Salads, vegetable dishes, light fishes, & seafood pasta
100% Chenin blanc
Grown in a combination of Oakleaf type soils of Cape granite origin. Soft pressing, cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks for three weeks. Racked of fermentation lees and kept on secondary lees for four months before bottling.
A light, crisp, dry wine that is fruit driven and juicy. Crisp and refreshing with lovely guava, pineapple and melon flavours rounded off with a hint of gooseberries and pear undertones.
Serve with salads, herb crusted goat cheese, light fish dishes, or on it’s own.
Drink 1-2 years after vintage.
and Franschhoek Valley
Grapes were given minimal skin contact in the press after which it underwent cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks for three weeks. Racked of primary lees and kept on secondary lees for three months. 2020 was the first year of experimenting with ageing small components of the total rosé blend in Nomblot cement eggs and terracotta clay amphoras.
A hint of watermelon and crushed pomegranate on the palate; rounded off with fresh acidity for a delicious, lingering mouth-feel.
Try trout, salmon, sushi, charcuterie and salads.
Drink within 18 months of the vintage.
Grown in Klapmuts/Longlands type soils of Malmesbury shale origin. Fermentation takes place on the skins for about seven days, after which it gets an extended maceration period of about one week. The wine then gets pressed into a combination of 70% new and 30% second-fill 300 litre French oak barrels. After malolactic fermentation the wine gets racked and is then returned to the barrels for another 18 months before bottling.
Fruit driven, cool cassis and pencil shavings on the nose with aromatic layers of spiciness and black pepper. An elegant, velvety mouth-feel and long, lingering finish, with flavors of cherry, prune, blackcurrant and hints of spice.
Lamb, or any game dish, especially with a berry sauce, spicy dishes.
Can be enjoyed from the year of release, with an ageing potential of up to ten years.
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