Lowerland Vaalkameel Colombard vertical
By Christian Eedes, 29 September 2020
Lowerland near Prieska in the Northern Cape has been in the Coetzee family since 1965. Today the focus is mainly grain and livestock but there are also 9ha of vineyard. This was originally planted around 2000 with a view to cropping high and supplying grapes to agribusiness GWK but in 2013, Bertie Coetzee joined father Hennie and there is an ongoing effort to achieve higher quality, the vineyards now organically certified.
A portion of the grapes get trucked south for vinification, the acclaimed Lukas van Loggerenberg one of the winemakers involved, and the Vaalkameel Colombard as made by him perhaps the wine that has caused most of a stir to date – the vineyard is 1.5ha and size and now typically bears 8t/ha; winemaking involves spontaneous fermentation and maturation for 10 months in older oak. Tasting notes and ratings for the wines to date as follows:
Lowerland Vaalkameel Colombard 2017
The nose shows a waxy top note before citrus, peach and oatmeal. The palate is rich and thick-textured with a gently savoury finish. No longer entirely primary. Alc: 13.22%, RS 4.1g/l, TA 6.6g/l, pH 3.36 pH.
CE’s rating: 91/100.
Lowerland Vaalkameel Colombard 2018
Floral perfume before pear, peach, citrus, red apple and spice. The palate has lovely fruit purity to go with racy acidity and a pithy finish. Big in volume but balanced. Alc: 12.88%, RS 4.5g/l, TA 7.4g/l, pH 3.14.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
Lowerland Vaalkameel Colombard 2019
A sublte and intricate nose with notes of pear, peach and a little earthiness. Light bodied with great energy and a pithy finish. The wine is much drier than previous vintages and that much more convincing as a result. Could this much maligned variety be capable of greatness? This very much suggests it can. Alc 13.29%, RS 1.7g/l. TA 7.1g/l, pH 3.2.
CE’s rating: 94/100.
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