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Landau du Val Semillon 2013

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Heritage wine.
Heritage wine.

“The only thing older than Basil Landau in Franschhoek are his vines,” says Ludwig Maske of La Cotte Inn, the town’s renowned wine and cheese shop. Landau, now 85, and wife Jane bought Landau du Val in 1986, plantings on the property including a 5ha block of Semillon planted in 1905.

Yesterday was the launch of the 2013 vintage of the wine from this vineyard, Wynand Grobler of Rickety Bridge the current in a series of winemakers to oversee vinification. The yield is typically one to one and a half tons per hectare and includes some 10 percent of Semillon Gris. Maturation lasted 12 months in French oak, none new and total production was about 2 000 bottles.

Currently it’s extremely unforthcoming (which is nothing to be alarmed by as this wine matures wonderfully – the 2003 also on show yesterday was spectacular). Give it some time in a glass with the biggest bowl you can find and it shows subtle notes of lime, peach, spice, hay and an intriguing herbal undertone. There are also some more oxidative notes of honey and malt. It’s lean and not nearly as expressive as the 2012 (see here) but perhaps destined to be a more complex and intricate with time. Price per bottle: R250.

Score: 92/100.

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