Luddite Shiraz 2017
WO Luddite, Luddite Wines, 750 ml
Deep red colour with intense purple hue. Complex bouquet of wild berries, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut and roasted flavours. On the front palate there are flavours of plum and spice followed by a gentle touch of blackberries. The wine is supported by fine grain tannins and its length prolonged by well-integrated oak.
A product of the Marc Almert Selection III
With the Marc Almert Selection, the ASI Best Sommelier of the World 2019, presents you a personally compiled selection of wines that inspire and touch him.
Marc Almert about the Luddite Shiraz
South Africa is the only country outside of Europe which I have visited twice. Why? Well, it boasts a landscape that literally takes your breath away. Wines that move you and tell stories. And, above all, people who radiate happiness in the face of adversity and pursue their dreams with great passion. People like Penny and Niels Verburg, who, with this little gem in Bot River, close to the whale-watching city of Hermanus, are fully signed up to the tradition of the anti-technology Luddites. They now press a number of grape varieties, but their winery indisputably revolves around Shiraz. The bottles are numbered, and, once in the glass, the wine ignites a veritable firework display of aromas: dark plum, chocolate, liquorice, black pepper, firm tannin and a full-bodied warmth come together to ensure that it goes down a treat. A perfect companion to the braai, as South Africans call their barbecues.
|Origin:||South Africa / Coastal Region / Bot River|
|Ripening potential:||4 to 10 years|
|Drinking temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food Pairing:||Spiced grillades, Bistecca fiorentina, T-Bone steak, Wild specialities|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, Pumping over, cooling period, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Maturation:||in partly new and used barriques/ Pièces|
|Maturation duration:||12 months|
Luddite Wines / Fam. Verburg & Meyer
Niels Verburg is one of those people who you immediately want to befriend. With his imposing stature and beaming smile, he stands out and magically draws people in.
At an early age, while he was working in Australia, he realised that Shiraz was "his" grape. In Chile, he later found the inspiration for the way he wanted to make his wine.
Together with his wife Penny, he planted his first vines in 1996. The first vintage was pressed in 2000. The small winery with just 6 hectares of vines is located just outside the village of Bot River. Walker Bay is only 30 kilometres away. The mild Mediterranean climate from the nearby ocean gives the vines on the south-western slopes of the Houw Hoek mountains a slow and long growing period. This results in spicy Shiraz with elegant fruit sweetness.
The name of the vineyard refers to the Luddites, 19th century English textile workers who fought against the Industrial Revolution. Consequently, Niels is rather reluctant to use "technology", as he says in a humorous way, both when caring for the vineyards and working in the cellar. Vinification involves as little intervention as possible, if any.
Niels and Penny have fulfilled their dream. In addition to the vines, there are also some olive trees and a few lucky pigs are reared: a rural idyll in South Africa. They epitomize the great change occurring in South Africa since the 1990s: moving away from mass production and towards independent quality wines that do not fear comparison with top international wines.
A hint of pepper
The legend stubbornly persists that the Syrah variety came from the Persian city of Shiraz. Yet, researchers have shown that it is a natural crossing of two old French varieties: the red Dureza from the Rhône Valley and the white Mondeuse blanche from Savoy. Wines from Syrah are gentle and concentrated. They smell of dark berries, violets and liquorice, and amaze with a piquant touch of white pepper. As varietal wines, they are found on the northern Rhone, as in the Hermitage or Côte Rôtie appellations, as well as in Swiss Valais. In the southern Rhône Valley, Syrah is often wedded with Grenache and Mourvèdre. In 1832, a Frenchman brought the variety to Australia, where it became the emblem of the national wine industry. There, the weightiest versions develop with typical notes of tar and chocolate.