One of the key drivers of new-wave South African wine is the astonishing co-operation between young winemakers. ‘You will not see this in France,’ reckons John Seccombe, who has done multiple vintages abroad. Winemakers can be rather competitive in their approach but the members of MEOW – Movement of Extreme Overberg Winemakers – share ideas, help each other during harvest and even share vineyards.
John, Peter-Allan Finlayson and Marelise Niemann produce their wines at Gabriëlskloof and have all worked at Chris Alheit’s Hemelrand in the past. Together this like-minded bunch of ex-Young Guns are pushing the Overberg onward with new varieties and honest winemaking.
Join the movement at 2 fun MEOW tastings in late August, or try our MEOW mixed case that will surely make you purr…
This breeding ground of fine wine has already churned out something special in the new Gabriëlskloof Landscape Series Cabernet Franc 2015. In its very first vintage, we feel it’s one of SA’s best. Notes of tobacco leaf, pure red fruit and remarkably fine tannins show off just how incredible this variety can be.
The grapes for the Alheit Vineyards Cartology 2016 are sourced from all around the Cape. Tightly coiled, classic and textured, the 2016 is one of the finest yet. Chris Alheit believes that the 5 years of farming these 9 parcels is really starting to payoff.
Marelise’s Momento Grenache 2016 is one of the Cape’s leading examples and offers a finesse rarely seen in the variety. Finally, the Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse Cape White 2016 is ‘very flavourful and terrifically long’ just as Christian Eedes says. It is now firmly established as one of the Cape’s top white blends.
Alheit Vineyards, Cartology 2016 – R 305
89% Chenin Blanc sourced variously from Perdeberg, Skurfberg and Stellenbosch and 11% Franschhoek Semillon. Some reduction before subtle notes of lime, naartjie and white peach, talcum powder and dried herbs. Lovely fruit definition – fantastic shape in the mouth with great side and back palate. The acidity, meanwhile, is suitably fresh and the finish long and pithy. – Christian Eedes, 94/100
Thorne & Daughters, Rocking Horse Cape White 2016 – R 250
John and Tasha Seccombe of Thorne & Daughters have just released their wines from the hot and dry 2016 vintage and again what is remarkable is just how super-concentrated the whites are. A blend of 27% Semillon, 25% Chardonnay, 20% Roussanne, 17% Clairette Blanche, 9% Chenin Blanc and 2% Macabeu. On the nose, citrus and peach, some leesy complexity and an intriguing reductive note. The palate is rich and thick textured, almost greasy but not entirely short of freshness. Very flavourful and terrifically long on the finish. – Christian Eedes, 93/100
Gabriëlskloof, Cabernet Franc 2015 – R 335
The wine is unmistakably Cabernet Franc, with notes of tobacco leaf, bell pepper and plum leading into an elegant, refined palate with fine tannins and just enough grip to balance the concentrated red fruit.
Momento, Grenache 2016 – R 280
This Grenache is produced from Swartland and Paardeberg fruit, with minimal handling to express the delicate character of the grapes. A little bit of Carignan adds freshness. Pure, gentle aromas of blossoms and crushed cherry are supported by the textured and focused tannins. It ends wonderfully dry with great vibrancy. Moreish and delicious now, enjoy it over the next 5 – 8 years. – James Pietersen (July 2017)