WineTalk: Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2013

 

Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards, one of the leading grape growers in the Swartland, which is arguably South Africa’s leading Shiraz-growing region, has received great acclaim for its 2013 Shiraz.

 

The Leeuwenkuil Shiraz was one of the shining stars at a recent Decanter panel tasting of South African Shiraz, when it was rated Highly Recommended and awarded a mighty 92 points, while retailing for only  R45.

 

The Decanter panel was blown away by the calibre of South African Shiraz and identified the Swartland as the leading Shiraz-growing region in SA, “being the most Rhône-like”, and producing wines that consistently offer “purity, restraint, fragrance, intensity, freshness and ripeness”.

 

The Swartland is characterised by mostly dryland grape farming, utilising little or no irrigation, which leads to more intense and expressive wines. The particular soil types which make this area unique, combined with a predominantly Mediterranean climate (hot, dry summers and wet winters), create conditions under which specific cultivars like Shiraz thrive.

 

Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2013

Tasting notes from Decanter

“Delicate violet nose gives way to a polished wine offering bright red fruit, fine peppered tannins and crunchy acidity. Has a wonderful Syrah typicity that’s complex and alluring; very Swartland”.

The 2013 vintage

 

2013 was an excellent vintage for the Swartland area with enough winter rains, a cool spring and summer.

 

In the vineyard

 

The predominant soil-type found in these Shiraz vineyards has sandy-loam topsoil with well-structured subsoil formed on weathered rock. This soil has good water holding capacity, providing the much needed water during the hot summers in this dry-land vineyard.

 

In the cellar

Grapes were picked at 23 – 25 degrees Balling and whole-berry fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. The skins were pressed at different alcohol levels to develop/create more complexity. No oak was used during the ageing of this Shiraz, making for a very fruit forward and spicy wine

 

Food pairing

 

Great on its own or paired with feast-worthy foods like roast duck, grilled meats and wild mushroom pasta.

 

Retail price

The Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2013 is widely available nationally at leading liquor retailers and grocers, retailing at approximately R45 a bottle.

 

Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards

 

Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards, one of the leading grape growers in the Swartland with some 1 000ha under cultivation, focused originally on selling bulk wine, but also supplying grapes to some of the Swartland revolutionaries whose top quality Chenin Blanc and Shiraz, and interesting Rhône-style blends, were attracting worldwide attention.  It was only in 2012 that Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards released their first four wines under their own label: a Chenin Blanc, a Shiraz, Family Reserve White (a blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche and Verdelho) and Family Reserve Red (a blend of Shiraz, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Grenache Noir).

 

Subsequently Leeuwenkuil has also launched a limited release Marsanne and Cinsault 2014, as well as their flagship Heritage Series range comprising a Chenin Blanc and a Syrah.

Author Info

Thuli

Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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