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Mother Rock


‘Brutal!’ Chenin Blanc

Swartland - South Africa


Johan was the first South African producer to join the exclusive ‘Brutal!’ club of winemakers. The label, Brutal!, started from a conversation three winemakers had a few years back (two are Catalan and one is French). The two Catalans, Laureano Serras and Joan Ramon Escoda exclaimed when tasting one of Anthony Tortul’s wines that it was ‘Brutal!’ or as Americans would say ‘dope/kick ass.’ Anthony didn’t get the reference and thought they were saying the wine was garbage. So he made a quick makeshift label with ‘Brutal!’ handwritten and the rest is history. Today ‘Brutal!’ is very much part of the ‘natural’ or ‘raw’ wine movement. The only requirements are that it’s ‘zero/zero’, meaning nothing added and nothing taken out. It also signifies the wine that is an experiment. Johan Meyer a.k.a. Stompie puts his mark on this 100% Chenin Blanc version from a vineyard site near Malmesbury in the Swartland. It joins the vault of ‘Brutal!’ wines made by natural-wine pundits such as Christian Tschida, Valentina Passelacqua, Matassa, and Do.t.e.

The grapes were harvested manually by taste (not potential alcohol level) to insure good mouthfeel of pH and acidity, structure, and aromas. After seven days of skin maceration, bunches were pressed to concrete tanks where spontaneous fermentation was carried out without the skins. The wine remained in concrete for 14 months, after which it was racked straight to the bottling line and bottled. No pre-racking or any movement of the wine, no filtering, no fining, and certainly no SO2.


  • Grapes: 100% Chenin Blanc
  • Vineyard: Hillside vineyards in western Swartland
  • Vine Age: 35-years-old
  • Soil Type: Koffieklip and granite
  • Viticulture: Practicing organic - dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native — concrete (100% whole-cluster)
  • Skin Contact: 7 days
  • Aging: 14 months in concrete on gross lees
  • Alcohol: 11.5%
  • Residual Sugar: 1.0 g/L
  • pH: 3.55
  • Total Acidity: 5.56 g/L
  • Total SO2: None added
  • Total Production: 222 cases
  • UPC: None

Tasting Notes

The oxidative handling gives this wine a deliciously smoky, nutty quality. It has a certain spice akin to peppercorns and a tang like cider, though a distinctive fruit purity this year thanks to concrete aging. It is best when consumed rapidly, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

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