Lunch today @ Mint @ Taj Hotel with Juan Louw Jnr. (below) from Nuweland, a piece of Eden with 95Ha of dryland vineyards 8Km outside Malmesbury on the way to Darling. His 2012 white blend of 7 cultivars named Wilna, after his wife, has an acid maritime freshness often lacking in the more oxidative style Paardeberg whites while his red blend of 13 varietals is pure southern Rhône write large, with impressive notes of garrigue, herbs and fynbos.
The 2012 Pinotage is made in the Pinot Noir style and unfortunately, volumes are too tiny to be considered for the annual ABSA Top Ten competition. A Tinta Barocca 2012 called Haasbek is a real Guy Fawkes wine with smoke and explosive flavours which develops in the glass into a spicy symphony. At 14% alcohol, the biggest of all the lunchtime wines which were mostly between 12 and 12.5% alcohol. Another advantage of the cooling breezes of the West Ward (Weswyk) of the Swartland.
90% of Juan’s wines are sold from his Vyge Valley padstal (roadside farm stall) cutting out middleman distributors and retailers which saves him 35% and 40% respectively, translating into superb value for consumers. These are true terroir tipples you won’t read about in the epic tomes written on the Swartland by WOSA-imported hacks and sacred wine cows or in the advertorial columns of pseudo-consumer websites like www.wine.co.za which are hopelessly boring with more conflicts of interest than a chameleon sleeping on a box of smarties.