Yesterday exceeded my expectations. Just two visits, but they were in depth, and super interesting.
The first was at Lynx, with Dieter Sellmeyer. He and his wife Diana moved here after a rather nomadic existence hopping around the world. He’s an engineer by training, and they bought a lovely property which Dieter planted with engineering-like precision, and which now produces some very smart wines.
The soils here are very sandy, and although sandy soils don’t have a great reputation, you can’t argue with the results. The wines here are fresh and vital, with lovely Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Grenache, as well as a Bordeaux blend called Xanache. Dieter is even making a convincing Pinot Noir, although this hasn’t yet been released.
Then it was off to see Basil Landau. After an interesting career, Basil moved to Franschhoek in 1986 with his young wife Jane to start a family. They bought an old 18th century house on a farm dating back to 1689, and renovated both house and vineyard, with the exception of a 6 hectare block of old Semillon that was planted in 1905. Fortunately, they left this old vineyard alone, and it is now the oldest producing block in the country.
The Landau du Val Semillon is remarkable wine. It’s now made by Wynand Grobler (below) at Rickety Bridge, and we tried a vertical. The 2004 was the stand-out, but each vintage was superb – this is one of South Africa’s classics, I reckon.
And the vineyard? It’s truly beautiful. The old bush vines strugggle, and the yields are tiny. But the wine is special.