As featured in the February issue of Business Day WANTED: For a long time, there was hardly anyone to touch Bouchard Finlayson and Hamilton Russell Vineyards situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus when it came to South Africa’s best Pinot Noir. All of a sudden, however, there’s a whole bunch of new contenders coming to the fore including the likes of Chamonix (Franschhoek), Meerlust (Stellenbosch) and Newton Johnson (Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley).
A pre-release tasting of the maiden vintage 2009 Anders Sparrman from relatively new Elim property Strandveld suggests that this wine will slot in right at the top of the local hierarchy. Though winemaker Conrad Vlok has made a Pinot under second-label First Sighting since 2006, 2009 was the first time he felt he had a wine which possessed not just the fruit expression but structure to warrant being bottled under the Strandveld first label. The wine is elegant to the point of delicate with great fruit purity, fresh acidity and fine, crunchy tannins. There are flavours of red and black cherry as a well as appealing spice thanks to well-judged oak (10 months in French oak, 40% new). Named after the Swedish naturalist who made extensive explorations of the Cape in the 18th century, it demonstrates the rewards to be had for those prepared to operate in unfamiliar territory. Total production amounted to 220 cases and the wine is set to be released in July, selling for R310 a bottle from the farm. Tel 028 482 1902 Email firstname.lastname@example.org