John Bouwer of Gedeelte Wines at work in his cellar

Gedeelte Palomino 2020

Brakkuil Vines, firmly rooted in their sandy marine soils

The grapes for the Gedeelte Wines are grown on Brakkuil Farm, situated 4 kilometres from the cold West Coast Ocean, chilled by the Benguela Current in its own little St Helena Bay Wine Appellation. Palomino had been used in vineyards in South Africa since the earlier days of winemaking. Spanish in origin where it is used in the manufacture of fine Sherries, the first Palomino grapes brought here were from France, hence its nickname of Fransdruif or White French.

Here on Brakkuil, the Palomino vineyards, planted in 1978 are rooted in flattened sea sand soils which have a limestone component. I am sure that the closeness of the sea has something to do with the kelpy marine quality in this wine.

The veil which grows over the wine

This is a unique style of wine by John Bouwer. The grapes are picked early in the morning and are allowed some skin contact to add flavour and freshness to the final wine.  The wine, after fermentation, lies on its lees for a year in stainless steel fermentation tanks. During this time, a veil draws over the wine, similar to the flor yeast in Sherry. This is naturally occurring in John’s 1948 cellar. This adds so much to the mid palate and generosity of the wine. After this process the wine is transferred for maturation to French Oak Barrels and left for up to a year. The wine is then prepared for bottling.

The Brakkuil vineyards, source of the grapes for The Gedeelte Wines

From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is simple and elegant. In the glass the wine is a pale golden amber in colour. The aromas are of tropical fruits, honeysuckle flowers, a wonderful kelp and minerals. The palate is rich and generous from entry with a wonderful line of sweet tropical lime acidity. There are notes of Sherry which for me makes this wine so complete and so utterly delicious. Eminently drinkable now though will reward you after a year or two of cool cellaring. A truly impressive and unusual and interesting wine.

My Beer Battered Fish and Herbs with Tartare Sauce

For me John Bouwer makes his Gedeelte Palomino 2020 as a wine for food. A smoked fish paté. A butter roasted organic chicken. A Pork Belly Roast with crispy crackling. My Beer Battered Fish and Herbs with Tartare Sauce is the perfect partner. Click HERE for my recipe.

Gedeelte Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Again, an unusual wine. Once in the cellar, after pressing, the juice goes to stainless steel tanks for the alcoholic fermentation. This is when the veil grows over the wine, adding its wondrous flavours. After a couple of months, the wine is drawn off the veil and taken to maturation in French Oak Barrels.

A classic bush vine

From a Burgundy shaped bottle with a simple elegant label, In the glass the wine is a light gold hay colour, with lime green flashes. The aromas and palate segue one into the other with tropical fruits intermingling with crushed tomato leaves. The oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla are in undertow to the rich and generous fruit. Special wine with a long and gently waning aftertaste.

Serve the Gedeelte Sauvignon Blanc 2019 well chilled. It is a superb food wine. It will also go happily with my Beer battered Fish.

John Bouwer with his son Wilhelm

Read more about Gedeelte Wines – CLICK HERE


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