The founders and creative brains at Fanakalo, responsible for rebranding SA wine with their incredible designs, have collaborated with winemaker JD Pretorius, vine whisperer Rosa Kruger and green guru Johan Reyneke and crafted a set of new-wave gems. The De Kleine Wijn Koöp focuses on small parcels produced from specially selected sites.
The wines are delicious and focus on elegance, finesse and refinement. JD Pretorius, the cellar master at Steenberg, shows us another side of his wine persona with these finely crafted wines. From a biodynamically-farmed vineyard on the Polkadraai comes the Heimwee Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – a claret look-alike with its fine tannins and fresh finish. Unfortunately, only a few barrels were produced.
The Knapsekêrel Cabernet Franc 2015, also made in miniscule quantities, is vinified from 7 individually selected rows from the same Oudeberg vineyard on the Polkadraai. Styled much like Cabernet Franc from the Loire, it’s fresh and light in its interpretation. Both these Cabernets are light with only 13% alc. and shine with the inherent quality of grapes from the 2015 vintage.
The Ou Treffer Cinsaut 2016 is also made using Stellenbosch fruit from low-yielding bush vines planted in 1952. Perfumed and complex, it’s a beautiful expression of this now in-vogue workhorse variety. The Hoedertande Grenache 2016 comes from the extremely sought-after Piekenierskloof appellation and, like the Cinsaut, only 1 barrel was produced. Both are light and crunchy with fine tannins and are excellent examples of the new-wave wine renaissance of late.
De Kleine Wijn Koöp, Heimwee Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – R 250
This is a unique take on Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch. Like the Cabernet Franc below it is biodynamically farmed. The excellent conditions of the 2015 vintage led to a wine that celebrates finesse and elegance with a dusting of tobacco, some fresh earth and red currant. The tannins are smooth and fine. It’s very claret-like rather than being big and bold in style. Drink 2018 – 2030. – James Pietersen (July 2017)
De Kleine Wijn Koöp, Knapsekêrel Cabernet Franc 2015 – R 250
A fine Loire-like nose of thyme, mint, lavender and rosemary combine with reticent red berries and florals. The fine, savoury tannins are fruit-coated, long and elegant. An excellent example of a lighter, fresher style of Cabernet Franc. Drink 2017 – 2030. – James Pietersen (July 2017)
De Kleine Wijn Koöp, Ou Treffer Cinsaut 2016 – R 230
Some potpourri and meat spice introduce a nose of wild strawberry and florals which lead on to a crunchy palate. Light but serious, with good fruit-weight despite the low 12% alc. Elegant and light but with a good tannic grip. Perfect drinking in summertime. Drink 2017 – 2025. – James Pietersen (July 2017)
De Kleine Wijn Koöp, Hoendertande Grenache 2016 – R 230
Grenache from Piekenierskloof is much sought-after and, rightly so, for its source of rare old vine quality. This iteration is a wonderful example. It shines with bright fruit, juicy tannins and a lively palate. Made in a bright, refreshing style, it’s an exciting addition to the Grenache landscape. Drink 2017 – 2025. – James Pietersen (July 2017)