The Brakkuil Barbarossa is a collaboration between grape grower Wimpie Bouwer and winemaker Adi Badenhorst. This incredibly scarce grape variety, or (as DNA profiling is still being completed) group of varieties, originated in the northern parts of Italy. The vines are believed to be at least 50 to 60 years old, but how the original cuttings came to be planted on the Brakkuil farm in St Helena Bay remains something of a mystery. Initially thought to be Cinsaut, the wine expresses similar fresh fruitiness, but has a bit more grip and a savoury, weighty mid-palate. The characterful 2015 is decidedly chunkier than the 2014 and will need 6 months to a year to settle.
‘I reckon I’d have guessed it as a cinsaut if I’d had it blind, though it’s a touch darker-charactered and richer, the tannins warmer and more velvety in their grip; the whole a little less vibrant perhaps (though delightfully fresh, with a good acidity), but with more depth and character.’ – Tim James on the 2014 vintage
We also offer Adi’s Jura-style dry white: John Strikes Again. ‘Hopefully this wine will taste like nothing you have tasted before from a South African wine,’ he explains. It is matured and raised in stainless steel under a blanket of yeast that allows for acetaldehyde production. This, together with the wine’s oxidative nature, produces an intriguing white with a flor-like nose and a crisp, bone-dry palate. Reminiscent of a Jura Vin Jaune or a Fino Sherry, this truly unique, once-off wine is a terrific gift for any wine geek.
Brakkuil Barbarossa 2015 – R 295
It’s more tannic and deeper in colour than the 2014, with lower alcohol and a little more freshness too. Savoury, stemmy and brambly with a linear, focused finish. Drink: 2016-21. – Tim Atkin, 93/100
John Strikes Again (From Under a Veil of Good Fortune) 375 ml – R 190
There aren’t many winemakers in the Cape who would make a solera-aged, unfortified Chenin under flor, but that’s Adi Badenhorst for you. The result is salty, tangy and yeasty, with great acidity and a Marmite-like tang. One to put into a blind tasting to confound your friends. Drink: 2016-19. – Tim Atkin, 93/100