#223 Vrede-en-Lust Viognier 2021 (Barrel-fermented)
👃🏼 An open, but not showy nose of fresh cut apricots, almonds, and (as dumb as it sounds) a hint of grapes (sultanas, to be precise).
👄 On the palate, everything is in its right place. A silky, slick mouthfeel carries ripe peach fruit and almonds up front, segueing into some impressively fresh, vivid apricot fruit, and gentle sweet vanilla spice. Every component is just so tidy. The synergy of them all is quite remarkable.
VIDEO Chapter INDEX:
00:20 – THE ETHOS OF VREDE & LUST ESTATE
01:30 – AN INTRO TO WINEMAKER KARLIN NEL
02:32 – HOW WAS THE WINE MADE?
03:57 – WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
04:18 – CAN WE SAY THAT A WINE SMELLS OF GRAPES…WITHOUT GETTING LAUGHED AT?
04:50 – IS IT A BAD THING IF I CAN SMELL OAK IN A WINE?
Vrede-en-Lust are an uncommonly progressive estate based at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountain between Franschhoek and Paarl. While the owner, Dana Buys, has gone to great trouble to recreate the architecture of the past, he is remarkably future-focused and forward thinking with regards to the rest of the Vrede-&-Lust enterprise. His solar power system is one of the largest installations in the South African winelands, and provides enough energy to run the entire estate on solar-generated power during sunlight hours.
His employment policies are about has progressive as his energy programmes, in that he has an all female viticultural team (in the form of Yolanda Barnard and Annette Human), 100% female heads of the various departments, and in 2017 his appointment of Karlin Nel as cellarmaster made her the youngest female winemaker to hold that title.
Karlin, meanwhile, wasted no time in stamping her authority on their range, raking in multiple awards, not least of all were two consecutive double gold medals from the National Wine Challenge for the 2018 and 2019 vintages of the Vrede-&-Lust Viognier. This 2021 vintage is every bit as impressive. For those who don’t have a bottle in their subscription package, here’s the best I could do to convey my joy:
🔬100% Viognier. 50% fruit from Elgin and 50% fruit from Simonsberg-Paarl. Most of the juice was fermented in French and Hungarian oak, but a small portion was fermented in stainless steel. The components were matured separately for about 9 months, only to be blended just before bottling.
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