‘Organic’ Landzicht Reserve Cab prevails in spite of the ‘desert’

ONE OF THE most talked-about South African reds following the announcement of the 2017 Trophy Wine Show results is Landzicht’s 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Judged top of its class ahead of many fancied Stellenbosch Cabs, it’s a wine from the Northern Cape, not that far from the Free State, over 900km from Cape Town… 955m above sea level in a place where, believe it or not, they’ve been making wine for over 40 years already!

Landzicht is owned by GWK, a large agricultural entity with multiple business holdings. Once belonging to a cellar in the Free State town of Jacobsdal that was mothballed some years back, the brand is now associated with a winery in the town of Douglas, the cellar dating back to 1968. Although it was Free State Muscat that they used to make the fortified Landzicht dessert wine that took top prize at the Trophy Wine Show in 2016, the grapes for Landzicht Winemaker’s Reserve Cab come from a vineyard nearly 170km away from the cellar – near the Orange River, about 55km from Prieska alongside the Griekwastad Road “on the edge of the desert” in the Northern Cape. Talk about extreme winemaking!

The vineyard where the Cab Reserve originates is owned by the Coetzee family, renowned cattle breeders who also farm maize, wheat and pecan nuts. They planted Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz in 2000/2001 and later Tannat as well as Petit Verdot. A GWK board member, Hennie Coetzee and (particularly) his youngest son Bertie believe in organic, sustainable farming. It’s an area where occasional summer rainfall can be detrimental. “Especially for blocks that are organically managed,” says the company’s Hein Janse van Rensburg. “We strive for balance in the vineyards. We do not do any bunch thinning or crop management – except the free-roaming kudu bulls that take their share very year.”

GWK’s tasting notes: “This Winemaker’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon showcases the New World fruit and elegance of the cultivar. Ripe plums and Black Forest Cake, a hint of oak on the nose, with cassis and blackberry flavours that complete the rich palate.” 13% Alc, barrel-matured for 14 months, and full-bodied in a Dolly Parton kind of way, according to wine manager Ian Sieg.

Landzicht’s reserve wines are only sold at the cellar door – R75pb for the trophy-winning Cab. For more about GMK and their contact details, click here.


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