Kretzel and Lammershoek
Swartland terroiriste: South Africa revisited part 5
previously met Paul Kretzel on a trip
to the Swartland in December 2005, so it was nice to see how his
wines were progressing. Paul came to South Africa from Austria in
1976, and worked in corporate life for 26 years before escaping by
buying a farm. ‘I didn’t know what I was letting myself into,’
he says. His property has decomposed granite soils and is in the
northern part of the Perderberg. It must be decent terroir, because
Eben Sadie has bought a piece of land from him.
has 100 hectares under vine, and most of the vines are old bush
vines, the majority Chenin Blanc. He’s currently in a state of
transition from conventional to organic production. ‘When we
bought the farm we were co-op producers,’ Kretzel reveals, ‘but
then Eben came along, met us, and encouraged us to resurrect the
cellar in 1999.’ Now Lammershoek export all over the world,
producing 10–12 000 cases annually. ‘Locally, we don’t do
much, because people don’t understand our wines.’ As well as
making wines, Kretzel still sells grapes to other producers,
including Eben’s Palladius.
do everything in the vineyard by hand,’ says Paul, which is no
mean feat when you have 350 000 vines to tend. Paul is keen on bush
vines. ‘I’m a strong believer in bush vines, but you have to
work them by hand.’ He says that with gobelet training, the
nutrients all travel the same distance, and the fruit has the same
position, leading to consistent ripening. They also have relatively
low yields, which helps quality.
the winery, just wood and concrete are used, and all ferments are
natural. ‘I think 80% is fruit, 20% is winemaking,’ he claims.
Paul has strong opinions. ‘Sauvignon Blanc just doesn’t belong
here: Chenin Blanc to us is still number 1.’
Chenin Blanc 2008
This spends 9 months in old wood. Deep yellow colour. Lovely complex
straw and herb nose with lovely density and texture on the palate.
There’s some sweetness to the fruit, and a long, complex, nutty,
herby finish. Delightful wine with personality and texture. 92/100
Roulette Blanc 2008
A blend of Chenin and Chardonnay. Really lively nose showing
fresh, bright, complex fruit with some subtle toasty notes and hints
of lime. The palate is fresh, pure and vividly fruity with lovely
rich, nutty, subtly toasty notes. Lively and pure with some
Roulette Red 2006
A red blend with 60% Shiraz. No acidification or nutrient
addition; some stems used. Sweet brooding nose with lovely rich dark
fruits: blackberry and dark cherry. Well defined and floral. The
palate is really vivid with lovely fresh, sweet, meaty, spicy fruit.
Very fresh nose, with a hint of mint and spice, as well as some
meaty notes. The palate is fresh and meaty, with olive and spice
notes. Vibrant yet smooth, this is distinctly savoury. Nice stuff.
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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