JUST THE FACTS
Price: R105 (as of Feb 2018)
Varietal: Merlot-fronted Red Blend
Wine Region: Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: It’s a mid-week merlot, so…about the height of a codpiece.
Occasion: When you’re trying impress someone by the stature of your “Wednesday wine”
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Like an episode of Morse. Pleasant, with an understated elegance. But not mind-blowing.
👃🏼 Sweet blackcurrant, lavender and herbal oreganum, glacé cherries & fresh earth.
👄 Mouthfeel holds moderate weight. Sweeter black fruit fades fairly smartly but brighter cherry & red plum acidity lingers a little longer into a fairly dry finish.
A simple affair, but pleasant nevertheless.
📝 The blend is Merlot-fronted, with Petit verdot, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Malolactic fermentation in tanks. The wine then spends six months on oak staves.
HermanusPieter is JaredLeto: the bdx vs rhone debate
When Jared Leto proved to be a semi-decent rockstar, we were all conflicted. What do we do now? Do we want him to act? Or sing? Do we mourn the loss of those days where Tyler Durden thought he was “too fucking blonde”, and simply become part of the 30STM family? Or do we say, hell no, Jared! We need you back on the streets of Gotham, pushing hard drugs with Connelly, and making out with Colin Farrell. Where do we go from here? I know, right? A rock and hard place.
Hermanuspietersfontein winemaker Wilhelm Pienaar would have us believe that the HPF cellars, and (more importantly) the soils of Sondagskloof farm are there to showcase the incredible potential that their valley has to produce remarkable New-world Bordeaux variety wines, with all the elegance of a cool-climate, Old-world affair. As exhibitd A and B in their case, the HPF Kleinboet bdx blend is very accessible younger brother to the slightly more ostentatious Arnoldus bdx blend, occupying the flagship position at the front of the fleet.
The trouble with Pienaar’s assertion about HPF’s Bordeauxs is not that he’s wrong about these wines. Nay, the trouble is that he has gone and muddied the waters by producing some absurdly classy Rhone-style SM(v)Gs in the form of Die Skoonma, or (if you have a few extra shekels) Die Martha.
So what’s do be done? Well, the easiest way to slice through the controversy is to drink them all side-by-side. You know, just to make sure you don’t get fooled by all the marketing mumbo jumbo about terroir, quidditch, or minimal intervention.
Of course, if you’d rather read about wine than drink it, then why not learn a little more about how architecture affects winemaking in my interview with Wilhelm Pienaar.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.