The Perdeblok is a unique sauvignon blanc block high up on the slopes of the Constantiaberg which has produced some of Klein Constantia’s best quality grapes since its planting in 2000. The name Perdeblok was coined by the vineyard workers and translates to English as the ‘horses block’. This name derives from the two Persheron horses that were used to plough the steep vineyards when clumsy tractors were unable to reach the higher slopes in the 1980’s and 90’s. At 224 metres above sea level, the steep 1.27 hectare block has retained its link to the past; 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 Perdeblokke’s unique terroir 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 this distinctive Perdeblokke terroir.
Balance between thiols and pirazines is achieved through the use of the SB 11 clone with a Richter 110 rootstock allowing for ripe, fresh flavours with 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.
Two trade launches were recently held for this exceptional one; one in Cape Town and another in Johannesburg. Attendees were presented a vertical tasting of three Perdeblokke vintages and the corresponding three Sauvignon blanc vintages, including a barrel sample of the Perdeblokke 2012. A special treat tasting of the newly-released Vin de Constance 2007 was also included to round off the event.
The general consensus from all attendees was that the 2012 vintages show incredible growth and promise and everyone is very excited about the future of Klein Constantia wines.