I have just written up my visit to Swartland producer Lammershoek, which you can read here.
It was unusual for two reasons. First of all, they’re making a new series of wines, called ‘Cellar Foot’. These are heaven for wine geeks: oddities bottles in small quantities. I tried one, as yet unreleased example: a varietal Hárslevelű, which is a Hungarian variety.
Lammershoek Cellar Foot The Hárslevelű 2010 Swartland, South Africa
12% alcohol. Just 800 cases made, and not released yet. Will be around 250 Rand. Grapes are crushed by feet in a basket press. Full yellow colour. Remarkable stuff: apples, herbs, spice, tangy acidity and lemony freshness. Powerful, fresh and slightly oxidative. Long and tangy: a crazy wine. 93/100
Secondly, and perhaps more weirdly, Craig Hawkins has been making an underwater wine. Barrels of Syrah have been kept submerged (not as easy as it sounds) in a fermenting vat. This will also be sold under the Lammershoek Cellar Foot label.
It’s made with no added sulphur dioxide, and has been kept in a barrel underwater since February 20th 2011 (this was tasted in November 2011).
Syrah 2011 Underwater Wine
Very fresh, precise and pure with firm structure and lovely taut cherry and berry fruit. No signs of reduction. Very clean and pure.