on the Hill
Africa revisited part 13
Pieter de Waal (above) describes himself as a 'vintrepeneur'.
He has a background in tourism, but now works mainly in wine, doing
all range of tasks. He was for a while the head of the Durbanville
Wine Association, and is currently coordinating the Sauvignon Blanc
Interest Group. As well as this, he makes some wine under the Hermit
on the Hill label.
His first official vintage was in 2000 -
he made a Syrah in the Coleraine cellar in Paarl, together with Clive
Kerr. His first experience with Grenache was in 2004, with Louis Nel
in the Warwick cellar. Now his label-only operation has spread to
three different cellars, and since 2007, when he left the Durbanville
Wine Association and found he had more time on his hands, production
has ramped up 1000 cases a year.
Every year, Pieter makes something
different, and his small production is hand sold: he doesn't enter
wine competitions. His approach is a natural one, working with wild
yeasts and as little intervention as possible.
Hermit on the Hill White Knight 2009
This is a blend of two-thirds Sauvignon and one-third Semillon
with a smidgeon of Muscat. Some of the Sauvignon was handled
oxidatively in 500 litre barrels, fermented on skins and stalks.
Pieter was expecting that this would cause a loss of acidity, so he
picked a bit earlier and lost less acid than he was anticipating.
Tight and intense with lovely high acidity and grapefruit freshness.
Crisp and taut with lovely lemony fruit and real precision. Minerl.
Hermit on the Hill Infidel 2010
85% Sauvignon, 15% Semillon, all natural fermentation with the
Sauvignon on its stalks. Green, minerally, grassy grapefruit nose is
very pure. The palate shows bright grassy, green herbal notes with
pithy, citrussy notes and some green pepper. Savoury and taut. 90/100
Hermit on the Hill The Red Knight 2009
This is a blend of Syrah from Durbanville and Cinsault from an old
block in Paarl that yields just 700 kg from a hectare (this is the
last vintage from this block). 13.5% alcohol. Taut and fresh with
focused dark cherry and plum fruit. Focused and full with lovely
bright berry fruits that manage to achive sweetness and freshness at
the same time. Taut acidity and nice tannins: this is so fresh and
1, Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards
2, Cape Point Vineyards
3, AA Badenhorst
4, Eben Sadie: Sadie
Family Wines and Sequillo Cellars
5, Paul Kretzel of
6, Mullineux Family
12, Charles Back and Fairview
13, Hermit on the Hill
14, Klein Constantia
15, Iona, Elgin
Part 16, Paul
Part 17, Eagles'
Part 18, Anthonij
Part 19, Oak
Part 20, Shannon,
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