4 September 2019

Piekenierskloof Wines perform in Tim Atkins’ South African report

 

Tim Atkin MW

Piekenierskloof Wine Company Bergendal Chenin Blanc

Piekenierskloof

2018

91

Piekenierskloof Wine Company Old Vine Cinsault

Piekenierskloof

2018

92

Piekenierskloof Wine Company Old Vine Grenache

Piekenierskloof

2018

93

Piekenierskloof Wine Company Shiraz

Piekenierskloof

2018

91

Piekenierskloof Wine Company Straw Wine

Piekenierskloof

2017

93

 

The past twenty months have been full of changes and innovation at Piekenierskloof Wines and we are thrilled to see it recognised by one of the wine industry’s most influential tasters, Master of Wine, Tim Atkin. During the course of 2017 the majority of the winery’s shares were taken up by the Van Zyl family of Paleisheuwel’s Bergendal and Heidedal farms. This was followed by the appointment of the dynamic Jaco van Niekerk as winemaker.

 

The task which the new team set for themselves was to raise the profile of the wines in the portfolio, not only to express the unique terroir of Piekenierskloof, but also to elevate the reputation and quality of the wealth of old vine vineyards on the two farms. This was done by toning down on the use of new and American oak, increasing the percentage of large format barrels, as well as introducing amphorae during wine making. Jaco also scrutinised the winery’s processes to eliminate unwanted oxygen pick-up at critical times that could jeopardise the delicate fruit and tannin structures of especially Grenache Noir and Cinsault. Although much has changed in a short period of time he is adamant that “the best wines are yet to come!”

 

Piekenierskloof wines is a proud member of the Old Vine Project, a body which seeks to promote the image and sustainability of South African vineyards older than 35 years, with four wines in the portfolio at present. The 2018 vintage of all four of these wines will be launched in October with a new look and feel packaging, yet still authentically Piekenierskloof. The wines are Bergendal Chenin Blanc 2018 (1962), Carel van Zyl Grenache Noir 2018 (1973), Heidedal Cinsault 2018 (1976) and Samson Straw Wine 2018 (1962). If you are not very familiar with Piekenierskloof you might be wondering by now what could be so noteworthy about these wines apart from them the fact that they come from old vineyards and are made with a few special tools? The answer lies in the terroir and varietal combination: at an elevation of 650 to 700 meters above sea level and roughly fifty kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean as the crow flies, these ungrafted, unirrigated old bush vine vineyards yield small quantities of concentrated and flavourful grapes – the perfect source for characterful wines.

 

If that is not enough to spark your interest perhaps Tim Atkin’s scores will. In the light of all the energy that has been invested in guiding the grapes into a bottle of wine which displays the best of what these vineyards can deliver, we are very pleased to announce that both Carel van Zyl Old Vine Grenache Noir 2018 and Samson Straw Wine 2018 received 93 points, whereas Heidedal Old Vine Cinsault 2018 garnered 92! A true testament to the inherent quality of the terroir as well as the commitment of the people involved. As Jaco adds, ‘It is a rare opportunity to work with such a selection of extraordinary vineyards”.

 

This is not the end of the good news however. Whilst Piekenierskloof is synonymous with Grenache, Jaco was immensely impressed with a parcel of Shiraz from Bergendal during vintage 2018 and decided to bottle the first single varietal Shiraz under the Piekenierskloof Pikeman range earlier this year. This wine inspired a whopping 91 points from Mr Atkin – not bad for a maiden vintage and a wine that sells for R130 per bottle form the winery. In his words, ‘this new release tastes like a Crozes-Hermitage, all plum, tapenade, blackberry and fennel, with smooth tannins and very understated wood. 2020 – 2025”.

 

For more information contact info@piekenierskloofwines.co.za

 

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