The 2020 vintage Lucca is a blend of separately fermented, yet equal parts, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Spicy and floral of wild rosemary and Fynbos, this wine is a true sensory reflection of vines growing surrounded by the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom.
Words from our winemaker, Megan:
The lead-up to the 2020 harvest was governed by fluctuating climatic factors: the biggest two being rain and wind. Flowering and set were an improvement on the previous season with Spring being warmer on average, leading to earlier than normal and even budbreak – a potential head start to a season that would be longer. Though Spring was warmer than usual, it came coupled with September winds like we have never seen.
With that came rainfall – leading to rapid vineyard growth and the need to closely manage fungal diseases, weeds and canopies. October was moderate with good set, but a warm and windy November led to vines growing at an even faster rate, which meant our team had to re-apply the same canopy management protocols three times over.
Veraíson was a week early. After February, summer growing conditions were moderate with nerve-wracking amounts of morning mist and high levels of humidity forcing us to sample as often as possible, practice patience, and completely reverse block orders for pickings, yet eventually getting the grapes into the cellar at the optimum ripeness, HEALTHY.
The 2020 vintage Lucca is a blend of separately fermented, yet equal parts, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The two batches were picked a single day apart, with the Merlot coming in during the early morning hours of 18 March and the Cabernet Franc following only 24 hours later. The grapes were hand-sorted down to berry level en route to the tank. Both batches spent five days cold soaking before they were allowed to warm up into natural fermentations. After another 20 days on the skins, the wine was gravity drained and the skins basket-pressed to 42% new French oak 225L barriques, where we inoculated for malolactic fermentation. We then allowed the wine to further evolve for 18 months before a light filtration and the eventual bottling.
Spicy and floral of wild rosemary and Fynbos, this wine is a true sensory reflection of vines growing surrounded by the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom. Our 2020 vintage at first seems to exist on the leafier spectrum of the Cape’s attempt at taming Bordeaux varieties but finds a beautiful balance between complexity and restraint when a single swirl lets go of the herbaceous and brings to the forefront cassis and red berry fruit. True to its site, the succulent red fruit concentration is enriched by polished tannins and a fantastic salinity that brings about freshness and a well-refined texture. The finish at this young age still being tart, thanks to its timeless terroir in the cool-climate Constantia.