2018-C Lievland 'Bushvine' Pinotage, Paarl, South Africa (750ml)
A Monthly Wine Club Selection
This is a re-emergence of Pinotage in a modern, elegant style with a deep garnet robe. The nose shows dark cherry, savory herbs and a hint of smoked meat, but on the palate is lush black cherries, pomegranate, a touch of menthol, and a long ﬁnish. Try it slightly chilled!
Lievland, directly translated, means “love land,” and there are few who visit that aren’t charmed by its bucolic beauty. Twenty years ago, Lievland was considered one of South Africa’s top estates. The farm is at the northern end of Stellenbosch, along what is referred to as the Simonsberg “Golden Mile” of wine estates, and is situated within a horseshoe-shaped valley on the northwestern slope of the Simonsberg mountain. The unique bowl shape of the property gives it a wide range of microclimates with south, west, and north-facing slopes and elevations from 590-1475 feet with clay-rich decomposed granite soils.
In 1934 the property was sold to the Baron and Baroness von Stiernhjelm of Latvia who planned to immigrate, looking to escape their homeland. The Baron died before the family left Europe, and the widowed Baroness moved to South Africa with her ﬁve children and took over the farm. Hendrika, the Baroness, renamed the farm Lievland, after the birthplace of her husband and children. She was, at the time, unique in being a single woman managing a large Cape wine farm, and though inexperienced in farming and wine production, Hendrika established the vineyards and developed quite a reputation for her wines. Initially selling door-to-door, she eventually managed more than 173 acres of vineyards. Over the years Lievland became known as one of Stellenbosch’s top Syrah producers. Along the way it garnered several ﬁrsts: it is said to be the ﬁrst to have a female winemaker and the ﬁrst to produce a certiﬁed barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc. José Conde and Tyrrel Myburgh, partners in MAN Family Wines, purchased the farm in late 2017 with the goal of resurrecting it to its former glory.
The grapes (85% Pinotage, 8% Grenache, 4% Syrah and 3% Cinsault) were hand-picked into small lug boxes in the cool early mornings of February 2018 after which they were taken to the winery for destemming, crushing, and chilling. After two days of cold maceration, fermentation commenced with pump-overs three times daily. Due to Pinotage (a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault) having a naturally thick skin and a correspondingly high phenolic content, the wine was separated from the skins immediately after fermentation and racked directly to barrel for 13 months aging, all in French oak (15% new ) before being bottled in June 2019 with a light ﬁltration.