The Brew Cru Pinot Noir 2019 was selected in the exclusive top five of the inaugural 2020 Mosaic Top 5 Pinot Noir competition. This caused great excitement from the “brus” as they knew from the beginning that this is a special wine.
Brew Cru is a collaboration between winemakers Johann and Bertus Fourie, and wine importer Jesse Balsimo. Johann Fourie and Bertus Fourie became very good friends during the 2007 harvest when Johann joined the KWV. They shared the love for wine, especially Chardonnay and Pinot noir, and spent hours talking wine, culture and food. Bertus left KWV in 2008, but not before the two winemakers promised each other to live up to the challenge of one day having their own wine, a heritage to leave to their children.
During that time Balsimo worked for a wine importer. Balsimo fell in love with South African wine more than a decade before, whilst enjoying his honeymoon in South Africa. As fate would have it, he met Bertus at a wine convention where they realised everything they had in common. The suggestion of a collaboration did not take any convincing – the thoughts, dreams, values and passion resonated so perfectly that it would have been a sin not to give birth to Brew Cru.
“‘Why Brew Cru?’ we are asked over and over – everywhere we present a wine tasting”, say the trio. “The answer is, well, not too complex! We are friends first and foremost. We are serious about quality wine though, but do not necessarily take ourselves that seriously. ‘Brew Cru’ is a double-barrelled pun: ‘Brew’ may mean ‘fermentation’ (converting grape juice into wine, literally), which sounds exactly like the Afrikaans slang ‘Bru’ – a loving, abbreviated form of ‘brother’ or ‘broer’ (in Afrikaans) which basically is a ‘really good friend’. As for ‘cru’ – may be a vintage (French), or even a special vintage. It also sounds exactly like ‘crew’, which is what we are – a team living and loving wine!”
“We are dedicated to cool climate wines from the Cape South Coast. We source our grapes from maritime wine wards such as Elgin and Walker Bay, which are renowned for producing wines rivalling the wold’s finest and most distinctive”, says Johann.
“Both our Elgin and Walker Bay vineyards share a common theme in that they are grown in extreme conditions as far as ideal textbook viticulture goes. These hardened landscapes with constant gusts of Atlantic sea wind contribute to a cooler climate and it is these same persistent cooling winds that aid in disease prevention by keeping the grapes dry, allowing for extended ripening periods and consequently keeping the yields low resulting in to small, intensely flavoured berries with great winemaking potential. These extreme conditions also lead to yields lower than what is considered normal. We believe it is these extremes of nature that gives personality to our wines. We believe in minimal interventions in the cellar. Our passion is to produce hand crafted elegant wines with a purity of flavour that reflects a sense of place”.
The grapes for Brew Cru Pinot Noir 2019 are from Walker Bay and planted on an elevated northern slope, with ample sunshine, close to the sea and its cooling breezes. This results in full ripeness with good red berry fruit flavours and juiciness in the wine. Johann explains that 2019 was a dream vintage, cooler than both 2017 and 2018, with no day temperature higher than 24 degrees Celsius, with a low yielding crop of small bunches and small berries. “This off course results in good flavour intensity, high natural acidity and structure in the wine. Everything fell into place like a winning slot machine! The wine was made from many smaller fermentations of some whole bunch and some whole berries, destemmed but not crushed,” says Johann. “All the components spent 9 months in barrel before blending, because freshness and fruit was the key for the style we wanted to produce.”
“After that came the all-important blending of the different components for the final wine. Blending wine is an art, a simple yet complicated statement. It is a complicated process as it requires a skill, patience, and creativity. As a winemaker you go on a journey and you can push yourself to your sensory limit. Or push your senses to the limit. Blending wines is also a lengthy procedure as you play around until you find the perfect balance. By perfecting this art, you will find yourself with a wine that rewards and reflects the effort”, says Johann.
“You must apply creativity, be open-minded and think outside the box. In essence we create art. We explore and experiment with the different flavours of the wine, so I guess we can be called liquid chefs. During the blending of the wine there are no rules – anything goes. Blending adds layers and dimensions to the ultimate wine. It is about finding the best characteristic of each component and combining it in such way that all the components complement each other to create a masterpiece”.
Driven by a deep passion for fine wine and especially that of Pinot Noir, the Brew Cru team often spend fun times together in a 1950 Ford exploring the back roads of the Cape South Coast in search for unique vineyard pockets to produce authentic site specific wines that reflect their wild origins…and of course drinking ample Pinot Noir!
For more information and to buy this special wine, contact Brew Cru directly.
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