“Perdeblokke” is a unique Sauvignon Blanc block from high up on the slopes of the Constantiaberg that has produced some of Klein Constantia’s best quality grapes (and wines) since being planted in 2000.
The name “Perdeblok” (or “horses’ block” in English) was coined by the vineyard workers because two Persheron horses were used to plough the farm’s steepest vineyards in the 1980′s and 1990′s when clumsy tractors were unable to reach them. At 224 metres above sea level, this steep 1.27 hectare block has retained its link to the past with the name “Perdeblokke” remaining long after the horses’ departure.
An exceptional yield from this particular block in 2004 saw the wine being bottled separately for the first time, and after legislation passed in 2005 allowing for the registration of a single vineyard, the label “Perdeblokke” emerged, and Klein Constantia’s flagship limited release Sauvignon Blanc was born.
Oriented in an East to West row direction, the vines are able to reach optimum canopy density with meticulous leaf removal. The temperature varies an average of four degrees Centigrade from the bottom estate blocks to the higher Perdeblok, resulting in a more austere and tight wine with a lower pH and higher acidity. Owing to these traits, the wine is kept in the bottle for an average 18 months minimum; sometimes longer if necessary.
The unique terroir of the Perdeblok plays an important role in producing a Sauvignon Blanc with ample fruit flavours. Shallow decomposed granite soils with a high clay content on the lower slopes, and deep red ferrous sandy soils on the higher parts, require two separate irrigation systems. These soil properties, coupled with extreme higher altitude south-easter winds in the summer months, and a generally lower temperature (never more than 27 degrees Centigrade) all contribute to the distinctive character of what is undoubtedly one of the Cape’s, and South Africa’s, top Sauvignon Blanc wines.
Balance between thiols and pirazines is achieved through the use of the SB 11 clone with a Richter 100 rootstock allowing for ripe, fresh flavours and fruit salad characteristics. The transpiration level is high, as the wind helps keep disease at bay, encouraging the uptake of nutrients and supporting flavour development.