2016
Blackwater
'Pleasure Garden'
Palomino
Robertson

2016
Blackwater
'Pleasure Garden'
Palomino
Robertson

Palomino is a white grape widely grown in Spain (particularly in the Jerez region), and best known for its use in the production of sherry. In Spain, the grape is split into the sub-varieties Palomino Fino, Palomino Basto, and Palomino de Jerez, of which Palomino Fino is by far the most important grape variety used for sherry. It is medium-sized, golden in color and produces large, loose clusters. It also has the least amount of malic acid of any other grape. Palomino ripens early and yields are generally high and regular. The grape, when not used for the production of sherry, has gained a reputation of producing tasteless wines that lack both fruit and acidity.

The Palomino grape allegedly was brought to southern Spain about 3000 years ago by the Phoenicians, though some claim that it may have already existed there before the Phoenicians arrived. The origin of its name is also a cloudy issue, though there is a popular version. In October 1264, King Alphonse X, also known as El Sabio, the “Wise,” successfully conquered Jerez. The King granted lands to his knights and they were subsequently asked to plant vineyards. One of those knights was Fernan Yanez Palomino, and it is thought the name of the grape derives from him.

Somehow the variety landed on South African soil and disappeared into obscurity. As fate would have it, Francois rediscovered a 90-year old vineyard planted to Palomino. He recognized potential and took a chance on this reputably uninteresting white grape and transformed it into a beautiful, interesting and layered wine.

Francois harvests the Palomino at the end of March. He destemmed and pressed the grapes after approximately 4 hours on the skins. He allowed the juice to settle overnight and then racked it into a concrete egg. Spontaneous fermentation occurred over a 6-week period and stopped on its own with 8 grams of residual sugar remaining. The wine spends 8 months aging in neutral 600L French casks.

The final product is pure deliciousness. It has peppy acidity with a combination of apple, citrus, and kiwi notes. On the palate, it has a soft viscosity and a lingering finish. This is a unique white wine that will leave you wondering what else this grape is capable of.

  • Region: Robertson
  • Varietal: 100% Palomino
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Vine Age: 90 years old
  • Residual Sugar: 8.5 grams per liter
  • Alcohol: 13.3%
  • Skin Contact: 4 hours following initial press
  • Oak: 8 months in neutral 600L French casks
Winery & Regional Information
STELLENBOSCH

Many of the photos you see of South African vineyards – positioned in front of striking granite mountains,–are from the Stellenbosch area. It contains the most developed vineyares; it is home to an important wine University (University of Stellenbosch); and it is the center of wine tourism. In short, Stellenbosch is to South African wine much like Napa is to... Learn More »

BLACKWATER WINES

STELLENBOSCH

Blackwater Wine is the brainchild of Francois Haasbroek, a man that is unequivocally part of the bright future of South African wine. Francois completed his schooling in Stellenbosch, surrounded by vineyards, mountains and food.  After enrolling at Stellenbosch University and graduating with a bachelor's degree in science – viticulture and oenology, he did his first stint as a 'cellar rat' at Neil Ellis wines in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The travel bug bit and the need to see how others do what they do led to his first stop: California, where he worked at Dry Creek Vineyard in Sonoma in 2003. Learn More »

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