Production by Donovan Rall is small and the wines are unapologetically bold without being overly heroic.
Blending different cultivars from different areas, partnered with judicious use of new oak, gives the wines complexity and a sense of luxuriousness, both on the nose and on the palate. Importantly, Donovan manages to create balanced wines, even at the fuller-bodied end of the spectrum. Very classy multi-regional wines in the best tradition of the “new” world.
The property is owned by Dutchman Sebastiaan Klaassen who spends part of each year on the property. The Vuurberg Farm is situtated in Stellenbosch on the east-facing slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, on the Franschhoek side of the Helshoogte Pass.
The White is a blend of Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch and Swartland, both from old bushvines on granite; Verdelho, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc from Voor-Paardeberg, also on granite; Viognier from Stellenbosch on deep clay; and Semillon from Swartland bushvines on granite. All batches were fermented separately after being whole bunch pressed with no settling except the the semillon component which was left on the skins for a week before going to barrel.
The Reserve is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch (Vuurberg); Petit Verdot from Stellenbosch; and Cinsault from Darling. Winemaking is basic: the Cabernet and Petit Verdot were de-stemmed but not crushed. Naturally fermented with one pigeage per day and spent 3-5 weeks on the skins. The Cinsault component was picked early and fermented using 100% whole bunches. Basket pressed and aged 22 months in small French oak (only 10% new) and a further 6 months in tank before being bottled unfined and only lightly filtered.
Winemaker: Donovan Rall
First Vintage: 2003
Viticulture: Own vineyards and bought-in fruit.