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Intellego Elementis 2013

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Jurgen Gouws, assistant at Lammershoek in the Swartland, also makes wines under his own label called Intellego. He prefers to work with vineyards that are either farmed organically or are in transition towards being so. “Real wine is wine that is alive and that depends on life in the soil,” he says.

Current releases as follows:

Intellego Chenin Blanc 2012
Price: R140
From three separate parcels of vineyard between 35 to 50 years in age. Whole-bunch pressed into old oak of various sizes, fermentation occurring spontaneously. Yellow fruit, spice and some nutty oxidative character. Very much savoury rather than sweet thanks in part to nice tangy acidity but a bit esoteric on the whole.

Score: 87/100.

Crazy cool.
Crazy cool.

Intellego Elementis 2013
Price: R200
From a single vineyard of Chenin Blanc, this wine features skin contact – the wine spending three weeks on the skins to obtain extra aroma and texture before being pressed into old 300-litre barrels and matured for 10 months.

A gorgeous nose showing an exotic floral note plus pronounced ginger and spice. Lean but not mean – there’s lovely pure fruit and invigorating acidity here. A wine of surprisingly broad appeal given the unusual winemaking practices employed.

Score: 92/100.

Intellego Kolbroek Syrah 2012
Price: R170
From a single vineyard of Syrah. 100% whole bunch fermented and matured in old 500-litre barrels for 15 months. Black cherry and fresh herbs on the nose including fennel in particular. Medium bodied with really lively acidity and fine tannins – the extraction is well managed and the wine certainly isn’t too stalky. It shows real purity and is admirably savoury but somehow doesn’t bring cheer.

Score: 88/100.

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