The Ahrens Family, Rooiwijn, Paarl, South Africa, 2017
Albert drives up to 40,000km every year between a plethora of vineyards in the Cape, sourcing only the very best grapes for his growing range of tiny-batch wines. One of the early voices of the Swartland revolution while winemaker at Lammershoek, Albert has remained quietly and confidently under the radar building his own projects, while also gaining experience abroad in Priorat, the Rhône valley and Champagne.
His Rooiwijn (literally ‘Red Wine’) from a vineyard in Paarl, close to his small Wildepaardejacht winery, is a blend of mostly Syrah with a bit of Cinsaut. Some vines are trained but are mostly old bushvines.
The best South African wines have one foot in the Old World and one foot in the New, and Albert’s Paarl Rooiwijn is just such a wine. It has an effortless elegance, perfumed, earthy, with cherry and red berry notes. To taste it is juicy, with a subtle smokiness, a lingering, warming, spicy finish. Very European in style, so characteristic of Albert’s wines.
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