Until now, the wines from Swartland property Kloovenburg have been no more than workmanlike but Jolandie Fouché moved across from Saronsberg in Tulbagh to become winemaker at the end of 2014 and on the evidence of the newly released Grenache Noir 2015 and Eight Feet Red 2013, a very positive transformation is under way. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
Kloovenburg Grenache Noir 2015
From bush vines planted in 2011. Spontaneous fermentation, 30% whole bunch. Matured for 10 months in old 300-litre barrels. Cherries, pomegranate, scrub and a hint of earthiness on the nose. Medium bodied with juicy fruit and bright acidity, a gently spicy quality to the finish. Great fun to drink!
Kloovenburg Eight Feet Red 2013
A blend of 70% Shiraz, 10% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan. Spontaneous fermentation, some whole bunch. Matured for 18 months, the Shiraz in 20% new oak. Gorgeous aromatics including red and black berries, purple flowers, olive, pepper and spice plus a hint of vanilla. Shows deft handling in both vineyard and cellar with good fruit expression, bright acidity and a nicely grippy finish. Full of personality and, very much to its credit, appears unusually youthful.