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Lourens Family Wines

2019

‘Howard John’

Red Blend   |   Swartland - South Africa

About

The great pandemic year of 2020 had a lot of changes for Franco. For starters he and his wife Lindi welcomed their first child into their lives with the arrival of Lua Ilse. Secondly, Franco left the nest of working alongside the venerable Chris Alheit and now sharing his own space with an emerging superstar, like himself, Lukas Van Loggerenberg. Having more space to play in the winery has allowed Franco to really get creative and search for new limits. 2019 was a filigree vintage with both red and white varieties having the ideal amount of concentration but also delineation and acidity. This vintage saw Carignan depart and a new block of Cinsault from outside of Malmesbury enter the fold. In 2019, all of the fruit is dry-farmed from bushvines in Swartland. The wine is named after his biggest supporter, investor, father, and the one that has believed in Franco since day one, Howard John Lourens.

The grapes were all hand-picked and sorted before spontaneous fermentation took place in open top fermenters. The grapes were fermented 80% whole-cluster (with a little more than 50% of the Grenache seeing stems, highlighting the fruit purity), gentle hand plunging during the first week, and foot stomping the second week. After 18 days on skins the lots were pressed to old French barrique and tonneau for aging. Following nine months the barrels are racked to tank and bottled without fining or filtration.

Stats

  • Grapes: 46% Grenache Noir – 27% Cinsault – 27% Syrah
  • Vineyard: Single bushvine site on Paardeberg (Grenache & Syrah) - bushvine vineyard west of Malmesbury (Cinsault)
  • Vine Age: Grenache (16-years-old) - Syrah (21-years-old) - Cinsault (24-years-old)
  • Soil Type: Eroded granite (Grenache & Syrah) – ironstone & clay (Cinsault)
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native in stainless steel – 80% whole-cluster (50% of the Grenache)
  • Skin Contact: 18 days
  • Aging: 9 months in neutral 225L French barrique and 500L tonneau
  • pH: 3.57
  • Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
  • Total SO2: 53 ppm
  • Total Production: 300 cases

Tasting Note

Translucent crimson with ruby hues. The nose has complex aromas of raspberries, red cherries, fresh anise, and underlying proteas and roses. There is so much freshness to this wine. The palate is ample, but by no means heavy with bright acidity, crunchy tannins and a stony, petrichor-ish minerality. A briny olive note peers on toward the lengthy and firm tannin finish.

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