Mother Rock and Force Majeure: brilliant wines from Stompie Meyer

chenin blanc cinsault south africa

Mother Rock and Force Majeure: brilliant wines from Stompie Meyer

Johan Meyer
Johan Meyer

Johan ‘Stompie’ Meyer is one of the most highly regarded of South Africa’s new wave winegrowers. He makes the wines for Mount Abora (as a consultant), and has his own project, JH Meyer Wines. And this is a new venture for him: Mother Rock/Force Majeure, a joint venture with his UK agent Indigo Wines.


Mother Rock is a new label, with Force Majeure a more affordable pair of wines that have been made for a few years now. Meyer farms organically, and makes the wines naturally. ‘I make more natural wines, but I’m trying to be clean rather than funky,’ he explains. The only addition is a bit of SO2 at bottling. ‘I’ve been working the vines for a while now,’ he explains. ‘It takes a few years to get the vineyard into balance.’ Typically he will do three picks: one to get acid, and then two subsequent ones. He doesn’t acidify. ‘You have to be so clean in the cellars,’ he says.

‘I want to make honest, clean natural wines showing the terroir rather than a style,’ says Meyer. He’s succeeding very well.


Force Majeure Chenin Blanc 2015 Swartland, South Africa
80% stainless steel, 20% barrel. Unirrigated bush vines from decomposed granite. Starts off oxidative and the juice goes brown before fermentation starts. Really bright and lively with citrus, pear, spice and tangerine. Very lively and focused with ripe apple and lemon characters. Mineral and intense. 92/100


Mother Rock White 2015 Swartland, South Africa
61% Chenin Blanc, 16% Viognier, 11% Grenache Blanc, 8% Semillon, 4% Harslevelu. The idea here is to take an overview of the Swartland with different varieties and different soils. Lovely fresh citrus, pear, apricot and tangerine notes, with some ripe apple. Fresh, detailed and fine with nice precision. 94/100


Mother Rock Liquid Skin 2015 Swartland, South Africa
This spends 9 weeks on skins, whole bunch, with pigeage once a day until fermentation finishes. It’s from a dry grown bush vine vineyard planted in 1975 on decomposed granite. Yellow/orange in colour it has a lovely perfume and fine texture on the palate, showing quince and apricot with real finesse. Grippy but not aggressive, it is so expressive. 94/100

Force Majeure Rosé 2015 Swartland, South Africa
This is a Cinsault from kofeeklip soils. Pale pink in colour, it was picked at 18 Brix when some of the grapes were still green, and already had a pH of 3.5. Very lively, fresh and quite textural with zippy, juicy cherry fruit and a hint of citrus and herb. 90/100

Force Majeure Red 2015 Swartland, South Africa
This is 70% Syrah made carbonically, combined with press juice from the other reds. Beautiful fresh, floral aromatics with some meaty notes. Lovely raspberry fruit. Juicy, focused and a bit gripp with nice vibrant red fruits and some peppery hints. 93/100


Mother Rock Carignan Cinsault 2015 Swartland, South Africa
11.5% alcohol. An equal parts blend of Carignan from granite and Cinsault from koffeeklip soils, both old vine. 100% whole bunch, some crushed with the feet. Very fresh and vivid with lovely cherry and raspberry fruit. Pure, grippy and structured with nice acidity. Very lively with purity and vibrancy. 94/100


Mother Rock Grenache 2015 Swartland, South Africa
11.8% alcohol. Decomposed granite with some Malmesbury shale. 100% whole bunch, 8 weeks on skins. Very fine, perfumed and expressive with a slightly herby nose or red cherries with tea leaf detail. Vibrant, juicy, pure red cherry fruit palate is so expressive. Complex, pure and beautiful. Haunting. 96/100

Mother Rock Syrah 2015 Swartland, South Africa
Granite with some shale, picked in three stages. Floral perfumed nose of raspberries and red cherries with subtle meatiness. Very pure, vital palate with fresh raspberry and cherry fruit. Juicy and linear with nice acidity. Real potential here. 94/100

Mother Rock Mourvèdre 2015 Swartland, South Africa
25 year old vines with sandy topsoil over granite. Expressive, perfumed, with a red apple edge to the fine tea, spice, tar and black cherry fruit. Grippy black fruits on the palate with some smooth cherry fruit. Unusual but nice. 92/100

UK agent: Indigo Wines

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