Patatsfontein is a winemaking venture formed by Reenen Borman of Boschkloof, fund manager Henk Kotze and Fritz Schoon of the excellent artisan goods supplier Schoon De Companje in Stellenbosch.
Around 2010, Schoon’s father-in-law gave up his Pretoria flooring business to buy a 1 200ha property in Montagu planted to peaches, apricots and some 15ha of Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Muscat. A certain Chris “Butch” Alheit later came by on a scouting trip for vineyards to supply his own wines and suggested that what was planted was too good to be sold off to the local co-op and thus the three friends decided to establish their own label.
The first wine comes from a 0.6ha block of Chenin Blanc planted in 1985 on shale soil. Used barrels varying in size from 225 litres to 500 litres were sourced from all over and winemaking took place at Boschkloof – spontaneous fermentation and 12 months of maturation on the primary lees.
It’s crackerjack stuff. White peach and a lovely floral note (not as heady as honeysuckle, more Karoo scrub) and a little spice. Great fruit purity and an acidity which gives the wine drive (although technically not that high at 5.6g/l) and a wonderfully savoury finish – just the right amount of bitterness which I increasingly note on old-vine Chenin. I don’t like to use the term “elegant” loosely but this really is. Wine Cellar price: R255 a bottle.