Breedekloof Terroir

Does the Breedekloof work without Du Toitskloof? If you remove the highest profile brand from the appellation, does a critical mass remain to define a regional identity? After an extensive blind tasting last year, Anibal Coutinho and I can answer in the affirmative. Our findings:

In a nutshell, the Breedekloof offers:

 Value for money
 Awe-inspiring mountain vistas (below)
 Huge diversity of dessert wines

IMG 39872 300x225 Breedekloof Terroir

Attie Louw is the winemaker at Opstal Estate and our Breedekloof wineheart.

Neil: Is Breedekloof a sleeping wine giant about to wake up?

Attie: I believe so – the diversity offered in our area with regard to terroir, viticulture practices and the resulting wines produced gives us the edge in a market where wine drinkers increasingly want to experience something different. We can provide this at great value. I also believe the image of Breedekloof is still a very honest one, without pretence and true to its origin and people – this is the message of a sleeping ‘giant’ waking up…

Neil: Are co-ops positive or negative for Breedekloof?

Attie: Definitely positive. The wine industry is in most cases a survival game these days and you have to be able to show good production collectively with input costs increasing out of control. So, if you can get the balance right of producing great value wines (as well as premium wines), at a good yield and in the process continue building your brand (good examples are Slanghoek Winery, UniWines and Du Toitskloof) then you should be ahead of the pack.

Neil: How important is wine tourism for business?

Attie: It’s essential. You need to / have to offer something extra to most wine tourists these days. Wine tasting alone isn’t good enough anymore. The public are spoiled for choice in a wine industry suffocated by competition. But, there are positives – with wine tourism more people are lured into the wine lifestyle as a result of either dining on a wine farm, riding in a mountain bike competition on a wine estate or attending concerts/shows or estate weddings on wine farms.

Neil: Your favourite wines style(s)?

Attie: Chenin Blanc in any style, Bordeaux white blends and Viognier (single cultivar or blended).

Our pick of Breedekloof wines:

One Bubbly

♥♥♥ Deetlefs Estate 2006 toasty apricot fruits, lively, fine palate, creamy, muscular

Eight Sauvignon Blancs

♥♥♥♥♥ Merwida 2012 tropical fruit plus asparagus and green peas, sweat, tangy and persistent
♥♥♥♥ Slanghoek 2012 lime blossom nose, soft creamy palate, good food wine
♥♥♥ Goudini 2012 strong vegetal nose, fresh palate of grass and veggies, tangy finish
♥♥♥ Avondrood 2011 expressive asparagus and green peas, creamy palate
♥♥♥ Badsberg 2012 lemon pith and minerality, citrus zest and sweet pastries
Lorraine 2011 fine green pepper flavours, easy-drinking
Palesa 2012 some sweat on nose, soft mouth-feel, tropical and creamy
Lateganskop 2012 pear drops and apples on palate, delicate, drink up

Four Chenin Blancs

♥♥♥♥♥ Palesa 2012 finely fruited, fresh grass and minerals, long
♥♥♥♥ Seven Oaks 2012 yellow fruits and citrus jam, leesy, subtle
♥♥♥ Deetlefs 2011 classic boiled sweets nose, minerals and honey, fine palate, long
Waboomsrivier 2012 aldehydic nose, soft palate of ripe apricots and peaches

A Quartet of Chardonnays

♥♥♥♥ Bergsig 2009 honey and butterscotch lead on to nuts and flint
♥♥♥♥ Bergsig 2010 oily palate, mineral style rather than fruit driven, creamy palate
Goudini 2011 grassy, creamy and ripe white fruits
Slanghoek 2012 cream soda perfume, reminiscent of viognier

One Riesling

♥♥♥♥ Deetlefs 2006 floral nose with some petrol, fine, delicate limey flavours, for Riesling freaks only, excellent acids

One Gewürztraminer

♥♥♥ Bergsig 2012 soft palate of Turkish delight, citrus zest and roses

A Brace of White Blends

♥♥♥♥ Deetlefs Family White 2009 rich fruit with mineral backbone, dried stone fruit and nuts
Opstal Estate – The Mill Iron 2012 exotic nose of tropical fruit and roses, appealing

One Merlot

Botha 2010 light, savoury, clean red cherries

A Duo of Cabernets

♥♥♥ Merwida 2010 tobacco and tomato paste with some caramel
Bergsig 2011 exotic floral nose, sweet fruit plus mint

A Duo of Shirazes

♥♥♥♥♥ Avondrood 2009 coffee mocha style, super red plums and berries, creamy palate
Botha 2010 chocolate candied red fruit, grippy palate

A Six Pack of Pinotage

♥♥♥♥ Bergsig 2010 minerality, chocolate, fresh red berries with an elegant texture
♥♥♥ Botha 2011 mineral nose, raspberries and stylish tannins, super freshness
Seven Oaks 2009 good varietal character, fresh and clean ripe bananas
Deetlefs 2010 toasted spicy oak, ripe bananas with a chocolate finish
Palesa 2011 clean and sweet, fresh ripe berries
Badsberg 2011 mocha chewy fruit with a textured palate

One Touriga Nacional

♥♥♥♥ Bergsig 2010 floral nose, fresh, mulberry fruit and oranges, a wine for foodies

A Quintet of Red Blends

♥♥♥♥♥ Bergsig The Family Friend 2011 serious wine, complex melange of flavours, long finish
♥♥♥♥♥ Waboomsrivier Arborea Red 2010 superb nose, fresh intense red and black fruits, with chocolate
♥♥♥♥ Deetlefs Family Red 2005 savoury fruits and tobacco, good grip and length
♥♥♥ Daschbosch Procavia 2009 green pepper pyrazines, dried tomatoes and plums, fresh, mineral
Goudini Ruby Cabernet/Merlot 2011 juicy fruit, clean and fresh

Eleven Stickies

♥♥♥♥♥ Deetlefs Hanepoot 2009 fruit intensity and exotic perfumes, herbal and nutty
♥♥♥♥ Bergsig Cape LBV 2001 authentic Port style, savoury, prunes, caramel and dried fruits
♥♥♥♥ Goudini Hanepoot 2006 nutty and rich apricots, citrus cheesecake
♥♥♥ Slanghoek Cape Ruby 2011 floral, sweetly fruited, earl grey tea, dried plums and cherries
♥♥♥ Waboomsrivier Hanepoot 2008 citrus and rich peach flavours, nuts and toast
♥♥♥ Slanghoek Red Muscadel 2011 rooibos tea, apricot jam and nuts
♥♥♥ Slanghoek NLH 2007 apricots and honey marmalade
♥♥♥ Slanghoek Crème de Chenin 2010 raisins, marmalade and honey
Opstal Chardonnay Barrel Dessert 2011 raisiny rich and silky palate
Badsberg Special Late Harvest 2011 ripe apricots, tangy citrus and tropical fruits
Badsberg Red Jerepiko 2011 candied red fruit and plums