A first 5 Star Platter’s rating for Leeuwenkuil’s Heritage Syrah 2013, a comparably new Swartland wine label.
Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards, one of the leading grape growers in the Swartland, have been supplying their coveted top-quality fruit to a number of premium producers for many years, including some of the Swartland Revolutionaries whose top quality Chenin Blanc and Shiraz, and interesting Rhône-style blends, were attracting worldwide attention.
It was only in 2012 that Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards released their first four wines under their own label: a Chenin Blanc, a Shiraz, Family Reserve White (a blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche and Verdelho) and Family Reserve Red (a blend of Shiraz, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Grenache Noir).
In 2014 Leeuwenkuil also launched a limited release Marsanne and Cinsault 2014, as well as their flagship Heritage Series range comprising a Chenin Blanc and a Syrah. In addition to the Heritage Syrah, Leeuwenkuil have also been recently honoured with accolades for: The Cinsault 2014 which received the Trophy for Best Niche Red Variety at the 2015 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show; and the Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2013 which received a mighty Decanter 92 point rating, while retailing for only R45.
Although the Leeuwenkuil wine label was only launched in 2012, the wines are already being lauded both locally and internationally. The maiden 2012 Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrah 2012 was launched to great acclaim: receiving a 95 point rating by Tim Atkin MW, internationally renowned wine commentator, and placed amongst his Top 5 Syrahs from the Cape; being endorsed by Wine Cellar Director Roland Peens as his “Top Wine of 2014”; and being awarded a 93 point rating by Winemag.co.za’s Christian Eedes.
…And the Awards Keep on Coming
Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards, owned by the Dreyer family, one of the leading grape growers in the Swartland, have received a pinnacle 5 Star rating for their Heritage Syrah 2013 in the 2016 Platter’s South African Wine Guide.
The Swartland has identified the Swartland as the leading Shiraz-growing region in SA, “being the most Rhône-like”, and producing wines that consistently offer “purity, restraint, fragrance, intensity, freshness and ripeness”.
The Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrah comes from a low-yielding dryland 1.5ha single vineyard surrounded by fynbos on the southern slopes of Riebeek Mountain, an area sought after by other leading producers like Mullineux & Leeu, Anthonij Rupert and Boekenhoutskloof, the cool nights, rocky schist and southern exposure being unique in the Swartland. “This is South Africa’s Côte Rôtie”, according to Wine Cellar Director, Roland Peens.
Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrah 2013
- Viticulturist: Koos van der Merwe
- Winemaker: Pieter Carstens
- Vineyard: Crop was reduced to 1 bunch per shoot to enhance grape quality. Hand-picked at 24.5 degrees balling. Yield 3 tons/ha.
- In the cellar: Grapes were picked by hand. Fermented on skins with punch-downs and pump-overs to mix the juice and skins. Own yeast fermentation. Post fermentation skin contact for 20 days to allow for maximum extraction of tannins. Malolactic and ageing in a 2 500-litre French oak Foudre for 14 months.
- Tasting notes: The indigenous Fynbos plants that surround the vineyard; have a huge impact on the profile of the wine. Lots of typical Fynbos herbs, thyme, buchu and white pepper notes on the nose continue onto the palate. Violets, black olives and blueberry flavours add complexity to this lingering wine. Drink now and will age well for another 10 years.
- Retail price: The Leeuwenkuil Heritage Syrah 2013 is available nationally at leading liquor retailers, retailing at approximately R275 a bottle.
Food pairing suggestions:
- De-boned Karoo lamb on a braai, marinated with olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper, served with a red wine reduction and marrow sauce.
- Red wine lamb shank stew with oven grilled veggies.
*Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards is not yet open to the public for wine tasting.