Arguably the oldest South African vineyard still in production is to be found on La Brie farm, Franschhoek. (Not to be confused with La Bri Estate, on the other side the river.) The wine from this Semillon vineyard, planted in 1905, is bottled under Landau du Val label. Traditional Franschhoek Semillon`s only really start showing after about 3 years of harvest and some are still drinking beautifully after 15 years.
The Landau vintages, with about 20 bottled so far, show some variance but that has mainly been due to the numerous winemakers used over the years, as to employ a resident winemaker just to handle 9 tons of grapes doesn’t make sense. But the current 2017 is what you should be drinking – textured fruit, underlying acidity and length – a bargain at R155 for a wine from this historic vineyard.
Two Chateauneuf du Pape`s of serious note have arrived, namely, Domaine de Cristia and Chapelle St.Theodoric. Both are managed by Baptiste Grangeon and both focus on the Grenache grape, grown in clay/sandy terroir with the St.Theodoric`s premium cuvees coming almost exclusively from light, sandy soils similar to Chateau Rayas ,which happens to be their neighbour.
The average age of the vines are 50 years with the St.Theodoric`s Grenache between 80 and 100 years-old. These are concentrated wines, showing finesse and an almost Burgundian elegance. Quantities are small (eg. Only 250 cases of Dm. de Cristia Vieille Vigne Chateauneuf produced).
This is Southern-Rhone at it`s best! Grenache at its best!
Well, we never had a chance to unpack the Paul Sauer 2017 as it walked out quicker than what we could have imagined. (We have small quantities left but are trying to secure a little more) Yet still available is the 2015 Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon. Plush, full and flavourful it glides down very easily but this 5 year-old is still very much in its primary stage. But just wait a few years and the complex aromas and flavours will start developing. A seriously good buy at R450.
We will be receiving new releases of Crystallum, Alheit, Sadie Family, Rall and more once we are told we may start drinking again. Please send me your wish-lists but I have to be fair and make sure that the restaurants which support us are allocated their share and that our long-standing customers get the same. This takes time to sort out but I will do my best to fulfil your request.
Sauvignon Blanc still remains our biggest seller so for all you Sauvignon fans how about this – Cape of Good Hope Altima 2017 Sauvignon Blanc harvested in Elandskloof for only R65. The acids have softened and the palate is starting to mellow and everything is tasting much better than when the wine was released. (I have quite a few cases of 2013 maturing in my cellar but these are not for sale at this stage.) Order now