Late at Lateganskop
Experience 3.5 Wine 4.0 Wine Tour Wolseley

Late at Lateganskop

Saturday 27 January 2018

Experience: 3.5/5
Wines: 4/5

The Tasting Room at Lateganskop must have been the hardest I have yet to find in over 120 vineyard tastings. The only signs on the Breede River Valley farm guided the visitor to the Office block which was closed early on the Saturday morning. I had arranged to meet Assistant Winemaker Kéan for tasting at 9.00am but both the office landline and his mobile went unanswered or went to voicemail. I thus had an impromptu tour of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines and blueberry plantings, for export to the UK, in large hooped ‘greenhouses’ in the morning summer sun.



Much earlier, at 6.30am, I had left Cape Town for a weekend in the Wolseley area via the beautiful Bains Kloof Pass. My partner was meeting her parents for fig picking at Hoogwater Farm on the R43 South of Wolseley. This left me free for wine tasting during the day. It was not until 9.30am that I tracked Sean down in the Tasting Room. He showed me the Cellar to start that, like many at this time of year, waited expectant for the imminent harvest.



We returned to the small Tasting Room, basic and functional as many are in the area and reminiscent of the one at Waboomsrivier. We began with a youthful, fresh Sauvignon Blanc that cost just R35 a bottle. The wine was named after twins Joubert and Jacobus, who founded the winery in 1969 when father Willem Hendrik Lategan decided a bigger facility was needed, instead of individual farms with smaller cellars. The wine was green herbaceous in character and light in acidity and style. Green fig, asparagus and lime flavours mingled with some guava.


I was treated next to a vertical tasting of Chenins Blanc from 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages. The wine is named Zahir, a word I did not know the meaning of. Kéan explained that a Zahir is a legendary person or object with fable-like powers that captivate the mind and soul of the person who comes into contact with it. It is considered to be a state of holiness or madness which is perhaps appropriate for South African vineyard owners as they grapple with the challenges of an industry undergoing rationalisation, change and drought.


The grapes for each Chenin Blanc were from the same bush vines (circa 22 years old) and matured for 13-16 months in oak barrels. There were subtle differences between them that were surely due mainly to the season. The youngest, the 2016 vintage, was more oak-forwards than its 2015 cousin and with greater intensity of melon, lemon and citrus aromas. It was light and clean on the palate, with similar feel to the 2015 wine, but was short on acidity and at the finish.


By contrast, the 2015 vintage also had a moderate acidity but the wine was more pronounced at the finish. The bouquet was more delicate and shy, with less sweeter honey or nougat notes. I liked most, and bought, the 2014 wine. The aromas were richest and most complex, showing warm lemon, lime, pineapple and nougat on the nose. The fruity complexity followed through to a balanced, dry, fresh palate.



The Brut MCC looked great – pale straw with a pink blush in colour and with a steady flow of bubbles in the glass – but disappointed in the mouth. The nose was extremely shy. The moussante mouthfeel was good but the red berry flavour was indistinct and lightweight. This surprised as the wine had spent 4 years on the lees. Kéan told how cultivar mix and balance differ each year, this being the 3rd vintage made. The name stems from the youngest of the Lategan clan, Livia, part of the 6th generation and unbelievably the only girl amongst 11 boys at the Cellar.


Most of the cultivars grown on 238 hectare winery are white (70%), namely Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. The majority of the wine is sold in bulk with only a small portion bottled under the Lateganskop label. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage are the 2 red varieties grown on the farm and major components of the Zahir Cape Blend. I tasted 2012 and 2013 variants, the first with added Merlot and the second with Cinsault.


I just preferred the 2013 wine. Both vintages were full-bodied and deep ruby in appearance. The intensity and complexity on the nose was best for the older vintage, showing ripe plum and cherry aromas. The mouthfeel was dry and with grippy tannins. In comparison, the younger wine was interesting on the nose – less fruit-driven and with oaky, dusty undertones – and, though still tannic, smoother, better balanced and more rounded on the palate.


The final and most interesting wine of the tasting was the Muscat D’Alexandrie dessert wine. The ‘No 102’ name celebrates the life of Willem Hendrik, who lived to 102 years. He must have been quite a character as he was still driving at 98 years on the road to Bergsig (a vineyard he also founded), feeling entitled to do so as he built the original road. The elegant wine bottle is the shape of an elegant tapering cylinder. Deep gold in colour, the wine had delicious, warm raisin and apricot flavours that were sweet, smooth and rounded on the palate. The above average alcohol constant showed, boosted to 16% by the addition of grape spirit.



Unusual in South Africa, the wine is made using the solera method, a fractional blending style more commonly used in Spain to make sherry. The process involves taking wine from the oldest barrel which is then replenished by wine from barrels of the same type but a year younger. These in turn are replenished by wine that is 2 years younger, and so on, with the youngest barrel replenished with new wine. It is used to smooth out differences between vintages. The No 102 wine contained vintages from 5 to 17 years old. I bought a bottle.



Lateganskop, despite the frustrations of the initial delay, proved to offer an interesting tasting and with some interesting wines. Vertical tastings are always a pleasure and rarely offered at vineyard tastings. They show, as here, the nuances of the different seasons and especially so if the wines are made with the same vines and viniculture. I shall look forwards to sampling the No 102 again and feel it will need a special occasion to do so. I intend to live to 100 years old too (the day is already packed with several activities) but am unlikely to be able to wait that long to open the bottle ….

Wines tasted (bought *):


2013 Livia’s Laughter Brut Pinot Noir Blanc de Noir – R140


2017 Twins Sauvignon Blanc – R35
2014 Zahir Chenin Blanc – R130* FAVOURITE WINE
2015 Zahir Chenin Blanc – R130
2016 Zahir Chenin Blanc – R130


2012 Zahir Cape Blend (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Pinotage, 17% Merlot) – R60
2014 Zahir Cape Blend (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Pinotage, 10% Cinsault) – R75


NV No 102 Muscat D’Alexandrie – R140*


You Might Also Like


Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

More than Just a Destination

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Great Value in the Swartland

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Excellent Unstated Wines and Service – Naturally!

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Bizarre in Swazi

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

1 Night, 7 Oaks, 3 Wine Tastings for Visit 2!

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

No Black Marks at Raka

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Lothian Left Me Breathless – and Not Only the Wines!

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

More Still at Tanagra

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Noble Wines without the Rot

Wines to Love on Love Street

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Judge and be Judged!

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen


On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Beyond Expectation

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Proudly Keeping it in the Family at Paul Cluver – or Not?

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

www: W-arm W-olseley W-elcome

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Peter Has a Whale of a Time in Hermanus

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Red Chair in the Morning

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Iconic Steenberg

It’s High Time Again

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Boutique de Brendel

Log Cabin-et Sauvignon in the Hot Tub!

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard


  1. Rijk Tulbagh gives Name to Cellar and Town – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] had an awkward length of time to kill between tasting appointments at Lateganskop Winery and the Manley Private Cellar and so I ventured to Tulbagh to Rijk’s Private Cellar for a […]

  2. Lemberg Punches Above its Weight – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] time in Wolseley and Tulbagh, in the aptly named ‘valley of abundance’. Earlier, I had visited Lateganskop Winery, Rijk’s Private Cellar and Manley Wine Lodge. Tasting wines, meeting winemakers and host […]

  3. 1 Night, 7 Oaks, 3 Wine Tastings for Visit 2! – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] returned again to Wolseley to taste at the Lateganskop Winery. Ladera and Rico Suter were not accepting tasting by appointment so I ventured north to Tulbagh to […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *