Landskroon Cabernet Franc Merlot 2017, good with Hein van Tonder’s Aubergine Schnitzels….

Landskroon Cabernet Franc Merlot 2017

If you have farmed your wine estate – Landskroon – for five generations – like the De Villiers family, you certainly get to know your piece of turf and the vineyards growin on it. Set on the gentle south west foothills of the iconic Paarl Mountain, Landskroon faces Table Mountain in the misty distance and the mighty Simonsberg to the east. A majestic view, which the family still love and wonder at every day.  In my early times with this remarkable family, Paul IV was the Cellar Master and his brother Hugo looked after their prize Jersey Stud. Both were dignified, caring, old world characters. After Paul IV’s death, the family sold off the Jerseys and consolidated their efforts to run a fine wine estate. Paul V won the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award for his Port Style Wines with which the previous Pauls had made more than a name for themselves. The Estate now offers a full range of red, white, blanc de noir and fortified wines, all of which are even handedly priced and are typical of the variety or style in which they are made.

Paul de Villiers V showing his grandsons how the de Villiers boys do things

The Landskroon Cabernet Franc Merlot 2017 is a riff on a Bordeaux style blend for which the breakdown is 55% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 15% Shiraz. Harvested on the Estate, the grapes are destalked, crushed and then separately vinified for later blending. Regular pump overs during fermentation ensured good colour and gentle tannin extraction. The Merlot and Shiraz aged for 12 months in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill French oak barrels. The wine was then blended and prepared for bottling.

It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in an appropriately shaped Bordeaux bottle. The label a simple elegant design by well-known designer Anthony Lane. In the glass, it is a rich bloodplum at the core which pales out to garnet at the edges.

Cabernet Franc grapes, the lead grape in the blend

It smells like
Ripe plums and red and black berries. Oak and its concomitant sweet brown spices in support of the fruit.

It tastes like
From entry a golden thread of fruit acidity and soft tannins runs through well into the long and gently waning aftertaste. Wrapped around the tannins are the generous plums, roadside brambles and black berries. A touch of fynbos herbaceousness adds to the allure.

Hein van Tonder’s Aubergine Schnitzels

It’s good with
As a glass while waiting for the braai embers to reach ideal temperature it is sublime. It is a food wine and works well with traditional South African Spicy dishes. Also, so good with vegetarian and vegan dishes with lots of flavour. Hein van Tonder’s Aubergine Schnitzels are a dream with this wine. Click here for his recipe.

Hein van Tonder, photo by Francois Pistorius

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