significant voor Paardeberg winery: South Africa revisited part 7
a new name to me, is one of the new wave of Voor Paardeberg/Swartland producers who
are establishing this region as one of South Africa’s most
interesting. I visited on a beautiful November day, with just a
light breeze moderating the heat of the sun.
property was purchased by Anthony Ward and Richard Gower in 2002,
and has 40 hectares of vines. Matthew Copeland, the Vondeling
winemaker since 2007 (below), took me for a quick tour of the
property. It's backing onto the Paarderberg mountain, with granite
soils further up the mountain and shale lower down. This diversity
of soil types is handy, because the terroir influence adds interest
to the wines.
is a key factor, because Matthew maintains that the wines from
granite soils show freshness and minerality, which are welcome in
this otherwise warm-climate region. Vondeling’s experience is that
the best wines are made from the south-facing vineyards, which are a
regard to vineyard aspect, sun in the morning is more desirable than
sun in the afternoon (which can lead to jamminess in the fruit). The
Vondeling vineyards are hard up against the mountain, so they don't
get direct sun in the afternoon, and the area they are located in is
5 degrees cooler than the surrounding areas.
most interesting block I saw was a vineyard of bush vine Carignan.
You’d expect them to be old vines: bush vine training is old
fashioned, and Carignan a less fashionable variety. But these vines
are just six years old.
had some interesting things to say about the current trend to sort
fruit, just using the very best. 'I worry that berry sorting might
hamper quality,' he claims. 'The most attractive berry is not
necessarily the best one for making wine. I worry that we are taking
away a couple of layers from the final product.'
13.5% alcohol. Very fresh fruity and expressive on the nose:
lemony, bright, hint of tropical fruit and some toastiness. The
palate is fresh and focused with lovely nutty fruit and nice
acidity. Brilliant effort. (The fermentation was stuck in one barrel
leaving 5-6 g/l residual sugar, which Matthew balanced by adding
Fresh, taut, mineral, herby nose with some flinty notes. A
little closed. The palate has a nutty character with taut herby
notes and some tight-wound fruit. Quite herbal and almost
structured, with some minerality. One for holding on to for a few
Erica Shiraz 2007
Dense, meaty and spicy on the nose with some robust tarry notes.
The palate is dense and fresh with a meaty, spicy personality and
dark savouriness. A bit earthy, too. 90/100
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2005
Aromatic plummy, earthy, spicy nose. Some evolution, but also
quite expressive and elegant. The palate shows subtle earthy, spicy
notes and has a classic sort of feel to it. Very stylish. 91/100
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,
also: Photos of Swartland
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