Late at Lateganskop
Experience 3.5 Wine 4.0 Wine Tour Wolseley

Late at Lateganskop

LATEGANSKOP WINERY
Saturday 27 January 2018
http://lateganskop.co.za/

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.

Lateganskop

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

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.

Lateganskop

Lateganskop

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

Lateganskop

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 *):

Sparkling:

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

White:

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

Red:

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

Dessert:

NV No 102 Muscat D’Alexandrie – R140*

Lateganskop

You Might Also Like

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Boutique de Brendel

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

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Relaxing Rosendal

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

www: W-arm W-olseley W-elcome

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Noble Wines without the Rot

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

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

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

It’s High Time Again

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Woody Wildekrans

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Beyond Expectation

Iconic Steenberg

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Being Creative at Flagstone

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

No Black Marks at Raka

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Log Cabin-et Sauvignon in the Hot Tub!

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

More-ish Wines at Môreson

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

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

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Judge and be Judged!

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

All Green at Villiera

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

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Wines to Love on Love Street

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Excellent Unstated Wines and Service – Naturally!

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Hope Lies High in the Valley

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

Bizarre in Swazi

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Red Chair in the Morning

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

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

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Hermanus-sleepers-fontein!

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Peter Has a Whale of a Time in Hermanus

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

No Blues at Hillcrest

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

More than Just a Destination

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Laibach Shows its Spots

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

More Still at Tanagra

Individual Quality at Jordan

Great Value in the Swartland

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Simple Spier

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Lothian Left Me Breathless – and Not Only the Wines!

Morgenhof in the Morning

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Colmant Sparkled

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Class in Glass at Glenelly

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

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Blush-endal!

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

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

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

3 Comments

  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 *