White, Ready, but will keep

2012 Fable Mountain Vineyards Jackal Bird White, Tulbagh

2012 Fable Mountain Vineyards Jackal Bird White, Tulbagh

White | Ready, but will keep | Fable Mountain Vineyards | Code:  29724 | 2012 | South Africa > Tulbagh | Other Varieties | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews



The Wine Advocate - The 2012 Jackal Bird is a blend of 45% Chenin Blanc, 20% Grenache Blanc, 17% Rousanne, 9% Chardonnay and 9% Viognier, raised for nine to 12 months in 500-liter French oak barrels with part of the malolactic stopped. It has a light fresh pear and wet-rock-scented bouquet that just needs a little more vigor (perhaps a conflict of several grape varieties.) The palate is crisp on the entry with touches of quince and lemon curd, a fine line of acidity and plenty of freshness toward the finish that just needs a touch more persistence. Still, this is nicely balanced, fresh and gets to grip with the grape variety well.
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - eRobertParker.com #215 Oct 2014

Other - Stately 2012 another assured and accomplished vintage of lightly oaked combo chenin, chardonnay, roussanne, viognier and grenache blanc. Full bodied, yet showing great elegance and balance, persistence. drier, firmer than 2010. All are standouts, well worth cellaring
Platter Wine Guide , wineonaplatter.com, Nov 2014

The Producer

Fable Mountain Vineyards

Fable Mountain Vineyards

Tulbagh, if you are not familiar with it, lies to the north of Wellington, flanking the eastern edge of Swartland. It is not a region particularly well known for quality wine but it is slowly beginning to follow in the footsteps of its innovative neighbour, Swartland.

Fable Mountain’s vineyards were established here in 2000 (under its previous incarnation of Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards) and gained significant respect in South Africa throughout the subsequent 10 years for the quality of its grapes and dedication to organic and biodynamic viticulture (Chris and Andrea Mullineux both worked here in the early part of the decade). Only red grapes (Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon) are grown here on steep mountain slopes at 400 to 500m above sea level. White grapes meanwhile are carefully selected from old vines in neighbouring Swartland to make the Jackal Bird blend.

The property changed hands in 2010 and, with the help of ex-Screaming Eagle investor Charles Banks, is now curated by husband and wife Paul Nichols and Rebecca Tanner. Fable Mountain Vineyards is finally beginning to realise its incredible potential: the 2012 Jackal Bird White and 2011 Syrah both gained five stars from Platter. All three wines are stunning.

The Grape

Other Varieties

Other Varieties

There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.

The Region


The South African wine region of Tulbagh lies just 35 miles north of Paarl. The region generally enjoys a hot and dry climate, being surrounded by the Obiqua Mountains that offer shelter the Atlantic Ocean weather extremities. Cool evening air from the Ocean is trapped in the valley during the day, helping to keep the daytime temperatures at a moderate level.

This is a region where Southern Rhone red grape varieties thrive, Syrah most prominently, along with Mourvedre and Viognier. In terms of white-wine varieties is Chenin Blanc is the most-planted, but Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have also gained ground in the past few years.

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