Lourens Family Wines new releases
By Christian Eedes, 6 October 2021
Franco Lourens, who spent some time working alongside Chris Alheit at Hemelrand in Hemel-en-Aarde and now uses the same facilities in Paarl as Lukas van Loggerenberg, is making some tremendously good wines, with Skuinskap Steen quickly becoming one of the best in the country. Volumes, however, are small so don’t hang about tracking them down. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:
Lindi Carien 2020
52% Chenin Blanc, 40% Verdelho, 5% Grenache Blanc (five days skin contact) and 3% Grenache Gris (matured in clay pot) – grapes sourced variously from Stellenbosch, Swartland and Voor Paardeberg. Citrus, peach and hay plus a slight reductive overtone on the nose. It’s the palate, however that really impresses with a wonderful coiled quality about it, the flavours taking a good long while to unwind in the mouth. Great fruit definition matched by punchy acidity, a slight grippy quality to the finish.
CE’s rating: 94/100.
Skuinskap Steen 2020
Grapes from a 1977 Piekenierskloof vineyard. Alluring aromatics of pear, peach, herbs and just a hint of jasmine on the nose while the palate has lovely clarity and energy – light but not underdone or skeletal. Awesome fruit purity, clearly what is a very special site deftly rendered – Lourens didn’t release a 2019 as he felt he left his picking decision too late but he’s got it spot on here.
CE’s rating: 97/100.
Howard John 2020
W.O. Swartland. 44% Grenache Noir, 31% Cinsault and 25% Syrah. 80% whole-bunch fermentation. Whereas quite a few New Wave red wines sacrifice fruit depth for freshness, Lourens seems to achieve both. The nose shows top notes of lavender and fynbos before red and black berries, oliver, pepper and spice. The palate is medium bodied with fresh acidity and chalky tannins. Good fruit definition, lots of intricate flavours, the finish intensely savoury.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
Lua Ilse Grenache Noir 2020
W.O. Piekenierskloof. 25% whole-bunch fermentation and none too light at 14% alcohol. Subtle aromatics of berries, herbs, potpourri and a hint of white pepper. The palate is medium bodied with stacks of flavour, moderate acidity and fine tannins. Pretty damn seductive. Only 792 bottles made.
CE’s rating: 93/100.
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