The Journey’s End Vineyards Precision Series represents the pinnacle of winemaking at the cellar, situated above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in the Helderberg basin. Purchased by the Gabb family in 1996, this picturesque farm, nestled among the slopes of the famous Schapenberg Hills overlooking False Bay, has a unique microclimate and exceptional terroir.
The highly acclaimed Precision Series wines are barrel-selected and super-premium, sitting at the top of the trio of core Journey’s End ranges. The three wines in the range include the Destination Chardonnay, Cape Doctor ‘The Red’ (Bordeaux blend) and The Griffin Syrah.
Precision Series Wines 2022 Harvest Update
“We are incredibly fortunate to have one of the most prestigious terroirs in South Africa and our philosophy at Journey’s End is a minimal intervention approach, allowing nature to run its course”, says winemaker Mike Dawson. “Each year our prime Precision Series vineyards seem to rise to the occasion and yield the finest fruit for us to nurture in the cellar. True to form, the 2022 harvest has delivered a large crop of excellent grapes for the Precision wines thanks to ideal conditions leading up to the 2022 vintage.”
Mike continues, “Our Chardonnay block 16 once again showed very even ripening and yielded top-quality grapes for the Destination Chardonnay, which, after completing natural fermentation in French oak is beginning a year-long barrel maturation period and showing an abundance of citrus, tropical, and stone fruit aromatics.”
“Our 23-year-old Syrah vineyard block also performed outstandingly this year. After a combination of traditional and carbonic styled fermentations and malolactic fermentation in steel tanks, the wine spends two years maturing in French oak barrels. We have no doubt The Griffin 2022 will be a stunner.”
“All the respective components for the Cape Doctor – Cabernet Sauvignon from our 24-year-old block, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot – are already showing great promise with elegance, richness, texture and aromatic purity. After a five-day pre-fermentation cold soak, the components undergo alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in steel tanks and then mature separately in 225L French oak for a two-year period before final blending.”
Mike concludes, “May the 2022 vintage continue reflecting our passion for precision, producing 2022 Precision Series wines living up to their reputation, revealing all the desired attributes displayed by our current vintages: Destination Chardonnay 2019, The Griffin 2016 and Cape Doctor 2017.”
Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2019
The Name: Our premium Chardonnay is known as ‘The Destination’ because we hope that once opened, this wine will entice people from far and wide to complete their quest for the ultimate Chardonnay at Journey’s End. This wine pays homage to the great Chardonnays from Meursault, but with a Journey’s End twist. This wine is a remarkable feat from winemaker, Mike Dawson,” says Managing Director Rollo Gabb.
In The Vineyard: The grapes were handpicked from block 16 (10-year-old vines), a pocket of excellent quality Chardonnay vines identified by vineyard drone footage. Fertile soils create large canopies of foliage allowing for the grapes lengthy hang time. Alternative sides of the trellis are picked almost two weeks apart, the morning sun side contributing towards the wine’s citrus and mineral notes and the afternoon sun side imparting ripe stone fruit characters.
In The Cellar: After being picked early in the morning, the grapes were sorted before being whole bunch pressed. Only free-run juice was used and was fermented in a combination of 228L and 300L French oak barrels. The Destination was naturally fermented, and the wine underwent 10% malolactic fermentation naturally. The wine was left on the fine lees and stirred frequently for a period of ten months before being blended in a stainless-steel tank, fined and bottled. The Destination Chardonnay is fined with bentonite which means this wine is vegan friendly.
Tasting Notes: The Destination is rich and full on entry and throughout. The nose exhibits concentrated apricot and ripe peach with layers of lime zest and orange. The fruit component is complemented by well-balanced almond and vanilla spice from generous oak aging. Minerality ensures freshness and adds linearity to a long-lasting creamy finish. The Destination Chardonnay will reward patient cellaring for up to ten years post bottling.
Suggested food pairing: Roast chicken with butternut purée, confit butternut, poached peach and pickled shimeji.
2019 vintage: new release
2018 vintage: 91 Points, Silver, Decanter World Wine Awards 2020; Gold Medal, Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards 2020
Journey’s End Cape Doctor ‘The Red’ 2017 Bordeaux Blend
The Name: This wine is named after the ‘CapeDoctor’, the cooling and cleansing south-easterly wind that blows through the vineyards from False Bay, bringing many benefits to the vineyards.
The Blend: Bordeaux-style red blend – 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
In The Vineyard: The grapes come from five adjacent blocks on the farm stretching between 180m and 215m above sea level. Their close proximity to the ocean (8km) guarantees fresh natural acidity and mineral salinity. The grapes are uniquely influenced by the nearby Eucalyptus forest which also serves as a wind break against the powerful Cape Doctor wind.
In The Cellar: The grapes from each block were picked and treated separately utilising stainless-steel tanks as well as 5000L truncated open top casks. Each varietal underwent a four-day pre-fermentation cold soak. After fermentation, only the Cabernet Sauvignon was subjected to a two-week post fermentation maceration to ensure a solid tannic structure. The wine spent 20 months maturing in barrel – the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot components in 100% new French oak and the Cabernet Franc in second-fill French oak. The wine was thereafter blended before being filtered and bottled. This wine is vegan friendly.
Tasting Notes: This wine exhibits fruits on the darker side of the spectrum with cassis and rich fruitcake on the nose accompanied by cinnamon spice and dark chocolate from generous oak aging. Concentrated blackberries are complemented by a creamy texture, with elegant soft tannins delivering a beautiful long-lasting finish. Despite the current appeal, there is enough underlying power for a long future ahead. Drink now or up until 2027.
Suggested food pairing: Beef fillet with beetroot purée, smoked leeks, mushroom spuma and goat cheese mousse.
2017 vintage: new release
2016 vintage: 91 Points, Silver, Decanter World Wine Awards 2021
2015 vintage: 97 Points, Platinum Medal ( the highest scoring South African red wine), Decanter World Wine Awards 2020; 5 Stars, Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2021
Journey’s End The Griffin Syrah 2016
The Name: The ‘griffin’ is a mythical creature (half eagle and half lion) known to protect very precious things. The griffin is a part of the Gabb’s Welsh heritage and can be found on the Gabb family crest. A pair of griffins guard the entrance to the Gabb family’s cellar at Journeys End.
The Blend: 100% Syrah
In The Vineyard: The grapes were handpicked from block 13 (21-year-old vineyard), nestled 180m above sea level behind a row of pine trees which serve as a wind break. The block was picked very slowly and carefully from midday into the afternoon to ensure warmer grape temperatures upon intake. All leaves and excess stems were removed from the bunch before being processed.
In The Cellar: The Griffin is a unique product in the Journey’s End range of wines, as it is the only wine that undergoes carbonic fermentation; a process where fermentation is initiated inside the berry by enzymes rather than yeast. The resultant wine is an irresistibly juicy fruit-forward wine with freshness, bright acidity and soft smooth tannins. After fermentation, the wine was pressed off the skins and aged for 16 months – 20% in new American oak, 20% in new French oak and 60% in a combination of second- and third-fill French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: A youthful yet complex wine, the warm and seductive nose displays luscious red and black berry fruit and violets edged in vanilla, plus pepper spice and an earthy character. Rich and succulent, powerful black fruit flavours are supported by silky polished tannins which provide structure and deliver an elegant lingering finish. The use of American oak adds subtle caramel notes as well as palate weight and mouthfeel. Drink now or up until 2026.
Suggested food pairings: Roast duck with plum sauce, also pairs well with a Blueberry cheesecake with dark chocolate and Chocolate ganache with smoked spicy meringue.
2016 vintage: 93 Points, Silver, Decanter World Wine Awards 2021
Purchase: The three Journey’s End Vineyards Precision Series wines are available for purchase at the cellar door, online at https://shop.journeysend.co.za/ for R300 each and nationally at select fine wine merchants as well as at leading restaurants.
Journey’s End Vineyards, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West 7130
Tel: 021 858 1929
Tasting and sales by appointment only: Monday Friday: 10h00 – 17h00
MORE ON SUSTAINABLE FARMING AND COMMUNITIY INITIATIVES
Journey’s End Vineyards has always been focused on ethically and sustainably producing excellent wines for all occasions. It was the second wine farm in South Africa to convert to solar power, doing so in 2014 and has been Fairtrade certified since 2017. In 2020, the Journey’s End Foundation was set up to help tackle worsening hunger and poverty in the local community. Since then, it has provided over 1.7 million meals to those in need. Journey’s End was recognised for this work as ‘Ethical Company of the Year’ at The Drinks Business Green Awards in both 2020 and 2021. Journey’s End also won the Water Management award in 2021. In addition, Journey’s End was recognized as a WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature)Conservation Champion in 2021, a prestigious accreditation bestowed upon environmental leaders in the Cape Winelands. Journey’s End is also a founding member of the Sustainably Wine Roundtable and has achieved carbon negative status. The team believes in drinking well and growing forward, while truly being a force for good.