Stellenbosch winery going places

Boutique operation Lyngrove produces its best results at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show

The winery focuses on proudly SA heritage wines
TASTE BONANZA: The winery focuses on proudly SA heritage wines
Image: SUPPLIED

The subject of which wines can put SA firmly on the world stage as a wine-producing country to be taken seriously is ever contentious, but the main contenders are our home-grown cultivar Pinotage, and Chenin Blanc which has graduated from workhorse to signature grape, especially thanks to our extensive old heritage vineyards.

So for boutique Stellenbosch winery Lyngrove, its focus on proudly SA heritage wines — chenin blanc, Pinotage and Pinotage-driven Cape blends — paid off with its best-ever results in the recent Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show.

Made from a small pocket of 40-year-old bush vines on the Lyngrove estate, Platinum Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2020 took home a 92-point score, silver medal, a place in the top 10 Chenins overall, and ranked fourth in wines from certified heritage vineyards.

This Chenin Blanc (R240) sits in Lyngrove’s top-end Platinum range, made in small quantities with loads of attention to detail — hand-harvested, whole-bunch-pressed, matured in older French oak barrels on the lees for up to nine months — making for a distinctive, structured, complex wine that mellows into its full potential with a year or two of bottle age.

Probably Lyngrove’s best-kept secret is the Chenin Blanc in its Collection range (all about R90), fresh, fruity, made for immediate enjoyment — it’s lively and zippy, with some texture and roasted pineapple, nutty notes balancing the upfront fresh fruitiness.

Back to the Platinum range, where the Platinum Pinotage (R240) is a regular feature in the Absa Top 10 Pinotage competition, and the 2018 vintage claimed a top  five spot in the Pinotage rankings and a silver medal (score 91) in the recent Old Mutual awards.

Winemaker Danie van Tonder describes it as “almost unlike Pinotage” — fragrant, elegant with a delicious streak of freshness that signals longevity.

He says enjoy it chilled in summer — “move through the temperature range until you get to that sweet spot where the berries just pop out”.

Its other Old Mutual winner was the Cape blend Platinum Latitude 2018 (R240), a top 10 in its category.

A full-bodied blend of Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz matured separately in-barrel for 18 months before final selection and blending, this one is deep and intense, with blackberries, stewed fruit and herbal notes, rich, flavourful and structured.

Lyngrove’s Reserve range, sitting in between the accessible Collection and premium Platinum, offers great value at about R130.

They are a balance of drink-nowability and ageability, made from older vineyards, matured in older barrels, concentrated flavours and complexity with freshness.

Deliciously sweet-sour lemon drops jump out in the aroma and flavour of the subtly wooded 2020 Reserve Chardonnay, with typical vanilla and butterscotch, a touch of spice, complexity and weight lifted by a streak of zippy acidity.

Similarly, Lyngrove Reserve Shiraz Pinotage 2018 is fully fragrant and aromatic with wood notes that carry through onto the palate with smokiness, loads of ripe juicy fruit, the wine smooth and supple.

Rosé might not be top of mind in the recent freezing days, but keep this new addition to the Lyngrove range (R89) in mind for summer — with all the dryness and savour of Shiraz wrapped up in the prettiness of pink with zip and freshness, floral hints — it’s easy-drinking for summer lunches but with enough depth to be taken seriously in the Provencal-style rosé stakes.

Lyngrove wines are available in Preston’s stores and look out for them on the wine lists at Blue Waters Café, the Harbour Master and Big Time Taverna in St Francis.

And see the Lyngrove online shop for some great mixed-case special offers.

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