South Africa Amphora Wines
8 Generations of Manetti’s working with terracotta and 7 years of WMG importing their beautiful amphorae
The first amphorae we imported were for Grande Provence Winery, Karl Lambour fermented Chenin Blanc grapes on their skins, each year pushing it longer and longer till they found the optimal number of months on skins. The result is a vibrant green wine with notes of pear and citrus and great purity and elegance, aptly named ‘Amphora’.
Since then a number of wineries have purchased amphorae and are now starting to release their amphora wines:
Kleine Zalze currently has three amphora wines as part of their Project Z range.A wonderful comparison of one Chenin fermented on skins and one off skins and then a truly phenomenal Grenache Noir. These wines received two 5stars and a 4 1/2 star in platters last year! Look out for the amphora symbol stamped on the top of the wax that differentiates these wines as 100% amphora wines. Kleine Zalze keep adding to their collection and have some exciting other varieties fermenting in the amphorae so watch this space.
Lourensford has released a new range called Kleipot. Hannes Nel also keeps adding to his collection and trying exciting different techniques. They currently have a Chardonnay, Rousanne and Petit Syrah in the range. The Petit Syrah scored 94 in the Tim Atkins Special Report.
Haute Cabriere have amphora wines in their Haute Collection. The Amphora Semillon and Amphora Chardonnay are beautiful additions to this range. The Sémillon received 4 1/2 stars in Platters and the Chardonnay was awarded 94 points by Tim Atkin.
Also recently released are Asara Amphora Chenin, Jasons Hill Beatrix Chenin blanc, Allee Bleue The Black Series Amphora Sauvignon Blanc and many more.
MANETTI AMPHORAE are unique in that they have been designed by winemakers and the Manetti family has been working in the terracotta industry since the 1800s. They are thus both beautiful and functional. The amphorae are unlined and made from 100% terracotta. This high quality clay has antibacterial and anti oxidative properties. It can be fired at a lower temperature which improves the porosity of the vessel.
One of my biggest joys in selling these amphorae (aside from tasting the incredible wines made in them), is seeing how inspired the winemakers are when working with them. White wines are being fermented on skins, sometimes whole bunch, winemakers are experimenting with carbonic maceration and every year a different variety is being tried in an amphora. The results are such unique and exquisite wines that winemakers sometimes do not want to blend them but rather keep them separate and every year more and more amphora wines are being bottled and released.
The amphora also adds a unique component to a blend and is often used to add more complexity and freshness. Look out for my newsletter next week about the amphora as a blending component.
Please contact me to order your amphora for the 2022 vintage or if you would like more information.