In old fashioned maps, often in areas of sea unexplored, in fancy calligraphy is written ‘here be dragons.’ If there was such a thing of Paarl Mountain there would be a patch over Landskroon which says ‘there is history here.’ For 5 generations, the De Villiers of Landskroon have owned and managed this estate on the south western slopes of the iconic Paarl Mountain, whose massive granite rocks on top shine like pearls, ‘parels’ to the early Dutch settlers. Each head of the family over these five generations has been named Paul and Paul V is the current Cellarmaster. There is history too in their Chenin Blanc Vineyards. Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s largest planted wine grape. Our vineyard is 6 times that of its home in the Loire Valley in France. Landskroon has two Chenins, on a dry and one off dry, the grape lends itself handsomely to both. Versatile grape which in my opinion is insulted by being known as the ‘workhorse’ grape.
The grapes for the Landskroon Chenin Blancs are harvested and taken to the Cellar where Paul and his team take off the free run juice and then add to it some gentle pressing wine. Fermentation is slow and cold. For the off dry, the fermentation is ended in order to leave a little residual sugar. The wines are then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is classical elegant Landskroon, though a new range of labels is going to come onto the market as the current labelled vintages come to an end. In the colour, the wine is a pale straw in colour and gem bright. The aromas are classical Chenin, tropical fruits, guavas, fynbos honey, ripe white fleshed peaches and citrus. From entry there is a thread of delicious fruit acidity which runs through to the aftertaste. The palate is full and generous, medium of body, and an excellent mid palate. The wines are made for now drinking.
The Landskroon Chenin Blancs 2019 are excellent quaffers. Quoted in the Platter’s Guide 2020 as hidden gems of good value, serve them chilled. Nina Timm’s Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes with tangy Tartare Sauce are a perfect partner for both the dry and off dry versions. Click HERE for her recipe.
Nina Timm of my-easy-cooking
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