Vivian Kleynhans (née Brutus) and siblings (six sisters and one brother) hail from West Coast fishing village Paternoster. They founded African Roots Wine Brands in 2005, the first label to be established being Seven Sisters, constituting various entry-level wines, total production now some 110 000 bottles.
In 2009, the family was awarded a barren piece of land in Stellenbosch and set about establishing 3ha of Chardonnay and 2ha of Shiraz plus a function facility and tasting room. Ivan Oertle, previously wine buying manager for Woolworths and now consultant, recently got involved in the establishment of a reserve range. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
Brutus Family Reserve Chardonnay 2016
Majority of fruit from Eikendal but a portion from the Seven Sisters farm. Matured for eight months in second- and third-fill barrels. A hint of reduction before pear, citrus and a hint of vanilla. Creamy in texture and possessing moderate acidity make for a very appealing drop.
Brutus Family Reserve Shiraz 2015
Majority of fruit from Neil Ellis Vineyards but a portion from the Seven Sisters farm. Matured for 15 months in French oak, 20% new. More red than black fruit plus smoked meat and spice. Juicy and fresh with soft tannins – unfussy and entirely likeable.
John Brutus Reserve 2014
33% Petit Verdot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot. Grapes sourced from the Vera Cruz property of Delheim. Matured for 19 months in French oak, 20% new. Red fruit, herbs plus attractive oak. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Classically styled, the finish dry but not unduly astringent.
The public launch takes place at 11.00 on 17 December. For more information, call 071 049 4109.
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