It seems like yesterday that Young Gun, new-wave releases were shaking up the SA wine landscape and resetting the fine wine aesthetic. Often harnessing old vines, their simpler winemaking philosophy led to more pure, honest and characterful wines. These 2019s are just the 4th vintage from Lukas van Loggerenberg – a superstar who is now firmly established as one of SA’s greatest young winemakers.
A notch-up on the 2018s, the diverse 2019 releases are more elegant, extremely precise and wonderfully deep. The Trust Your Gut is a benchmark Cape Chenin Blanc from Swartland and Stellenbosch and offers incredible drinkability in its youth. The richer Kameraderie, from 60-year-old Paarl vines, is more opulent and will take some time to show its best. Both are at the pinnacle of Chenin Blanc.
The Geronimo is one of SA’s best Cinsauts. Offering more serious, tightly coiled fruit, it shifts away from the ‘easy-going’, ‘tutti-frutti’ styles. The tannins are remarkably fine and the purity and poise suggest long-ageing potential. Probably his finest Breton yet, the 2019 shows Chinon-like flavours but with more power and concentration. This wine helps redefine Cabernet Franc in SA.
The Graft, from the now-famous Polkadraai Karibib vineyard, is a game-changing Stellenbosch Syrah. Aged in old oak barrels, it is brooding and mineral with Rhône-like florals and new-world spice. It is, unfortunately, limited to 3 bottles per person.
Lastly, we have the Break a Leg Cinsaut Blanc de Noir, which is one of the most sophisticated and popular rosés on the market.
Watch the video below for a discussion on the new Van Loggerenberg releases. These wines will, of course, be delivered as soon as possible post lockdown.
Van Loggerenberg Wines, Trust Your Gut Chenin Blanc 2019
From Chenin Blanc – 73% Paardeberg, 27% Polkadraai. A top note of potpourri before yellow peach, apple and naartjie plus some yeasty complexity. The palate has weight and texture offset by tangy acidity, the finish possessing a slight bitterness that adds a point of interest. Very flavourful, very expressive. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 93/100
Van Loggerenberg Wines, Kameraderie Chenin Blanc 2019
From a Paarl vineyard of Chenin Blanc planted in 1960. Pear, white peach and lemon plus a hint of reduction as well as dried herbs and some talcum-powder dustiness in the background. Great fruit purity, punchy acidity and a pithy finish – just so energetic and balanced. Tightly wound, this is a good few years off drinking at its best. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 95/100
Van Loggerenberg Wines, Geronimo Cinsaut 2019
From Stellenbosch Cinsault, one in Firgrove planted in 1978 and the other in Bottelary planted in 1989. 100% whole-bunch fermented. An utterly seduction nose with notes of red cherry, rose, pomegranate and herbs. The palate is light-bodied with lemon-like acidity and powdery tannins. Lovely purity and clarity while simultaneously being almost ephemeral. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 93/100
Van Loggerenberg Wines, Breton Cabernet Franc 2019
From three parcels of Stellenbosch Cabernet Franc. 50% whole-bunch fermentation. Very fragrant with notes of red fruit, violets and pronounced herbal note. The palate is lean and fresh with very fine tannins, the finish possessing a slightly salty quality. As ever, this is a particular and slightly severe expression of the variety. Drinking it with food, however, the wine has a winning coolness about it. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 91/100
Van Loggerenberg Wines, Graft Syrah 2019
From a Syrah vineyard on the Polkadraai Hills of Stellenbosch. 100% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured for 10 months in French oak, 30% new. Again a wonderfully alluring and complex nose with notes of red and black berries, olive, pepper, lilies and fynbos. Relatively full-bodied but possessing trademark fruit purity and fineness of tannin – very well judged. This is shaping as a very fine rendition of the variety. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 94/100
Van Loggerenberg Wines, Break a Leg Blanc de Noir 2019
While previous vintages of the Break a Leg Blanc de Noir made from Cinsault by Lukas van Loggerenberg have, by all accounts, enjoyed significant commercial success, I’ve tended to find it a bit simple. The 2019, however, is a different kettle of fish. This is not about overt aromatics and flavours although there is a vague sense of blood orange both on the nose and palate. Rather, it is all about texture and energy – the fruit is pure, the acidity fresh, the finish nicely dry. It’s tightly wound, altogether less accessible than previous incarnations and consequently more serious. The best SA pink I’ve tasted in a long time. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 91/100