#290 Hermanuspietersfontein Kat met die hout been 2021
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Would a rose by any other name not be as easy to sell?
Hermanuspietersfontein is one of South Africa’s more bizarrely named estates. And I believe the name is partially responsible for the remarkable level to which this estate is underexposed. My hunch is that the weak-willed among us would do well to strengthen their feeble knees and find the inner tenacity to look past the unwieldy moniker so that they can experience a really rather exciting range of wines.
The winery (from hereon referred to as HPF, simply to reduce the loading time of this webpage) is located in the town of Hermanus; located between the wards of Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Walker Bay, but their vineyards are all planted further down the coast in an exclusive little wine ward called Sondagskloof.
In this video we explore the history of this little ward, and learn why HPF winemaker and CEO Wilhelm Pienaar was willing to trade in his cushy job as the cellar master of one of the biggest wine brands in South Africa (Nederburg) to becoming the driving force behind a far smaller operation on the eastern frontier of the South African wine scene.
A breath of fresh air
We also explore the process of hyperoxidation in winemaking, and learn how Wilhelm’s winemaking techniques contribute to the rather remarkable wine of the day; the HPF Kat Met Die Hout Been Wooded Sauvignon Blanc 2021. Of course, if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:
👃🏼 Lovely fragrant elder flower, complicated by a light touch of tropical guava (but not the overripe sweaty kind) and some butter toffee gilting. Beneath those sweeter elements there are more savoury notes of green pepper, and even a lovely salty touch of white asparagus. Which sounds weird, but really works in this setting.
👄 A fairly concentrated and vibrant burst of citrus upfront. Mandarin and naartjie sherbet explode on the palate, and then segues in to more floral elderflower, whichn in turn is followed by the most vivid note of fresh cut limes, which lingers beautifully. In amidst that mandarin and lime, there is again a supremely beguiling salty element, as though those lime rinds had been dusted with salt flakes.
🔬 Wine of origin Sondagskloof. 97% Sauvignon Blanc. 3% Semillon. Fruit is harvested from blocks 5 & 6 on the estate, grown at about 340-400m ASL. The parcels are all fermented in Stainless Steel tanks, using La Forte X5. After fermentation the juice is racked into barrels for maturation.
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