Yes, Lovely Creatures is a nod to the eponymous album by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, but it is also an homage to the often-overlooked critters that make up the ecosystem of a vineyard. From regal praying mantises to butterflies and bees, these animals help to bring a distinctive balance to their liana-speckled habitats.
Like these little creatures, these wines are unassuming and, yet, so lovely. They are made by Stephanie Wiid of Thistle & Weed, and though these are school night wines, they are still marked by her trademark intensity and elegant finish. The line is currently made up of two single-variety wines, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which both come from single-vineyard sites in Stellenbosch that are nearly two decades old. The clay-driven granitic soils provide texture and power to the wines, and native yeast fermentation offers an even deeper appreciation for the “lovely creatures” who take on the lofty task of turning ripe fruit juice into alcohol.
Though their launch in the US market in 2021 was relatively hushed, these wines generated lots of chatter thanks to their approachability and reasonable price point. Lovely Creatures is a South African benchmark for responsibly crafted, affordable wines with a clear terroir link.