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Mother Rock Wines, “Force Celeste” SémillonSwartland, South Africa 2020 (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

Mother Rock Wines, “Force Celeste” Sémillon Swartland, South Africa 2020 (750mL)

“Although grown in a hot, dry climate on South Africa’s Western Cape, this brisk and salty Sémillon delivers the refreshment and high-toned aromas of a ‘cool-climate’ white.”

Winemaker Johan Meyer is the driving force behind Mother Rock Wines, which, at present, is more a free-ranging négociant operation capitalizing on Meyer’s relationships with top growers across the Cape. As the brand name suggests, Meyer’s focus is on communicating the influence of the region’s diverse soil types, through wines that are vinified as “transparently” as possible.

Fruit for Force Celeste is “whole-bunch pressed” into tank and allowed brief contact with air before fermentation (a controlled oxidation intended to enhance ageability). Most of the juice (90%) is fermented in stainless steel at cool temperatures, while the remainder is fermented in used 300-liter oak barrels. It was aged for seven months on its lees (spent yeasts), then blended and bottled without fining or filtration. 

If you know Sémillon mostly from Bordeaux white blends, this expression will be revelatory. There are some of the “creamsicle” notes the variety is known for, and the beeswax-y texture, but the wine also delivers lots of savory, salty sensations. It is textured yet brisk, with notes of lemon, pineapple, flint, and flowers. Pair with shrimp scampi and other buttery/lemony preparations.

  • CountrySouth Africa
  • RegionWestern Cape
  • SoilSand
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendSémillon
  • Alcohol11.5%
  • OakPartial Used Barrel
  • Temp.Serve at 45° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2030
  • DecantingOptional
  • PairingShrimp Scampi

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