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Overgaauw DC Classic 2013 Tasting Notes

Overgaauw DC Classic 2013

Varietal(s) Merlot 80% and Cabernet Franc 20%

Vintage Since 1982; current 2013

Background Information
An innovator from the start, Braam van Velden was an early champion amongst local vintners of a Claret-style blend, producing what was to be a forerunner of a Bordeaux-style blend. He launched a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cinsaut blend named Tria Corda in 1979, but by 1982 he adopted a more classic approach and replaced the Cinsaut with Cabernet Franc. Then in 1984, he created a Right Bank
blend from selected barrels of the 1983 vintage, especially for the Cape Winemakers Guild auction.

Merlot played the prominent role in the blend, particularly due to Braam’s special bond with the varietal after he released South Africa’s first single varietal Merlot in 1982. Braam used this special occasion to honour his father, David Conradie van Velden and named the wine Overgaauw DC Classic. With 2012 vintage 4th generation owner and winemaker, also David Conradie van Velden decided to pay further tribute to his predecessors by releasing the DC Classic as an Icon wine under the Overgaauw range.


  • Vineyard location: Stellenbosch Kloof, 180m above sea level, south facing, 15km from False Bay
  • Moderate climate: Winter ave temp - 13ºC (min 7ºC, max 17ºC)
  • Summer ave temp - 21.5ºC (min 20.5ºC- max 30.5ºC)
  • Soil: Deep Hutton and Clovelly (decomposed granite)
  • Age of vines: Merlot 35 years; Cabernet Franc 17 years
  • Trellising: 4-wire hedge system with moveable wires
  • Pruning: Cordon system with 2 bud spurs, ensuring low yields
  • Harvest date: February/March 2013
  • Yield per hectare: Cab Franc 6 tons; Merlot 8 tons
  • Balling: 25ºB

The different parcels for this blend were identified according to the site and clone attributes. Handpicked, optimum ripe berries were lightly crushed. Extended skin contact for 14 days after fermentation ensured the tannin extraction and integration for a firm, yet elegant mouth-feel. Malolactic fermentation in barrels followed. After another strict selection, the wine matured in French oak barrels for 24 months without racking.

  • Alcohol: 14.5% vol
  • Total acid: 5.6 g/l
  • pH: 3.5
  • RS: 2.2 g/l

Winemaker David Van Veldens comments:
Its lightly perfumed aroma offers generous layers of cassis, raspberry, cedar and a touch of spice and minerals. The nose follows through onto a silky, well-balanced palate that delivers fine ripe tannins and a long concentrated finish - the perfect foil for the wine’s brilliant fruit. Its structure and rich fruit ensure at least 10 years ageing potential.