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Wine of the Week

The lamb lies down

Lammershoek is located in the picturesque Paardeberg area of Swartland. Here the owners of the winery have found their breathing space, “close to nature with unbeatable views that speak to the soul”, they explain. The grapes are also grown in harmony with the rich animal and bird life of the place.

Lammershoek has been a cornerstone and a leading light in Swartland, and therefore in modern South-African quality wine for generations. Craig Hawkins, himself a mentor for others, was head-winemaker for almost ten years before he decided to put all his effort into his own project Testalonga in 2016. (Search these pages for several of his wines, and also Intellego and Mother Rock.)

Today Lammershoek is owned by Andreas Abold, originally from Germany, and Fedor Radmann, a business-man and friend from Switzerland. Footballer Franz Beckenbauer was also co-owner, but left the pitch a couple of years ago. Their famous wine Libero No 5 is attributed to him.

Credit: Lammershoek

Lammershoek means “lambs’ corner” in the Afrikaans language. Local legend says that the sheep sought shelter for their babies in the nearby forest, from the black eagle and other birds of prey.

The Innocent is some kind of an entry-level range. Mostly from old dry-farmed bush-vines, the wines have always lots of character and a high quality. The pinotage is somehow taken back to its roots. This ruby red wine made in a subtle, youthful Beaujolais style, is different from what people have come to expect from a pinotage nowadays. The bushes are between 21 and 50 years old, all dry-farmed. Partial whole-bunch fermentation.

The Innocent Pinotage 2018 (Lammershoek)

Ruby red, a bit blueish youthfulness. Aroma of red berries (cherries), plums, over a hint of herbs and licorice. Subtle, youthful, luscious taste with with careful tannins, low alcohol (12%) and an energetic whole-bunch acidity, – and yet a sweet sensation that I often associate with pinotage lingers in the long aftertaste.

Price: Low

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