All is Not Lost in a Safe Port
Experience 3.5 Swartland Wine 4.0

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Friday 22 September 2017

Experience: 3.5/5
Wines: 4/5

Amanda was swapping English with Afrikaans with the ease of a screw cap as she told the attentive guests the history of Allesverloren. The name originates from when settlers returned in 1704 to the farm after a wagon trip in and around Stellenbosch. They found the buildings burned and all destroyed by fire. ‘Allesverloren’ means ‘all is lost’. Fast forward a hundred years to 1806 and the farm is producing the first port. It remains one of the oldest wine producers in the Swartland and one of 5 port producers in South Africa.



Allesverloren has been in the hands of the Malan family for 140 years. The estate has since grown and developed, initially growing wheat only but then turning to make a sweet fortified dessert wine that became the estate’s flagship port. Today, only red grapes are grown in the stony Kasteelberg soils and the vineyards extend to 227 hectares. All but 1 of the 7 cultivars grown are Portuguese varieties, and with some interesting double story pruning. It seemed strange that there is no Portuguese link to the family other than the history of port production.



The Tasting Room is in the original winemaker’s house that is the oldest building on the farm. The view from the elevated stoep outside the Tasting Room towards the Winterhoek Mountains was superb. Inside, there was little room for more than a dozen tasters. I selected wines made with the Portuguese cultivars as these are not frequently grown in South Africa. I avoided the ‘port’ – in inverted commas due to the place of origin naming regulations – because I was driving and the alcohol content is too high.


I began with the Tinta Rosé in elegant gold and white labelled bottle. It was pleasant enough and all that a Rosé should be: pale salmon in colour; with aromas of fresh raspberry and strawberry; crisp and light on the palate. It made a perfect aperitif for the Touriga Naçional after that has been made since 2000. Usually made into port or blended in a Douro Portuguese red wine, I had tasted once as a single variety wine before – at Bergsig near Wolseley. Barrel-aged and matured to match the 2015 vintage, the wine was full of luscious cranberry, cherry, raspberry and currant aromas. Big, dry tannins filled the palate and perhaps a little more than the fruits flavours. It was my favourite wine.



The Tinta Barocca had recently been bottled and so was still young. ‘Sharp on the tongue, chalky on the teeth’ was how Amanda described it. Deeper than and medium-bodied like the Touriga Naçional, it had similar prominent tannins and a high acidity. I liked the prominent cherry, cranberry and light spice flavours.



It seemed strange to end with a Shiraz but Amanda was keen for me to taste. The wine was made in a lighter style, with flavours of pepper spice, dark chocolate, cassis, mulberry and blackberry. Nonetheless, the tannins made up for the apparent lightness, holding onto the palate for a lingering finish.



Allesverloren was a perfect mini-tasting for me. The range of wines was compact yet interesting. There were no tricky decisions to be made. No food to think about or souvenirs to consider. I went to taste the Portuguese cultivar wines and that is what I did. Visit if you are passing and seek something different to taste and explore.

Wines tasted (bought *):


2017 Tinta Rosé (Shiraz, Tinta Barocca, Petit Verdot) – R55


2016 Touriga Naçional – R110 FAVOURITE WINE
2015 Tinta Barocca – R110*
2015 Shiraz – R110



You Might Also Like

Great Value in the Swartland

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Hope Lies High in the Valley

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

House Wine from the Wine Tram

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Noble Wines without the Rot

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

No Blues at Hillcrest

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Iconic Steenberg

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Morgenhof in the Morning

Wines to Love on Love Street

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Colmant Sparkled

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Woody Wildekrans

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine


Simple Spier

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Relaxing Rosendal

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Boutique de Brendel

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

All Green at Villiera

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

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

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

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

Being Creative at Flagstone

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

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

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

More Still at Tanagra

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Late at Lateganskop

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Judge and be Judged!

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Individual Quality at Jordan

Laibach Shows its Spots

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

It’s High Time Again


More than Just a Destination

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

No Black Marks at Raka

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

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

Red Chair in the Morning

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Beyond Expectation

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard


  1. Great Value in the Swartland – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] is more commonly made into Port wines – though I had done so at the previous tasting at Allesverloren. Pale in body and pale ruby in appearance, I liked the cranberry, bitter-sweet cherry and spicy […]

Leave a Reply

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