South Africa is slowly redefining the borders and wards of its winemaking regions. One might argue that the freedom to do so is one of South African wine’s superpowers. Through the redefining and pioneering of new wards and regions, we are capable of producing ever more refined wines, uniquely suited to its terroir and patiently decoded into true ambassadors of South African wine – though the effort does require its own Pound of Flesh.
The redefining and pioneering of wine wards require a certain kind of grit and conviction, something winemakers Clayton Reabow of Môreson and Craig McNaught of Stony Brook Winery share in their Lokaïa wines. Wines exploring the potential of the Franschhoek Valley’s three proposed sub-regions, Bo-Hoek, Franschhoek Valley Floor, and Dutoitskop Peak. They are hanging their hats on Semillon, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc as quintessential Franschhoek varieties from the Bo-Hoek, Valley Floor, and Dutoitskop Peak, respectively. Made with the use of amphorae and varying degrees of skin contact, though without a telltale orange tinge, these wines are surprising, textured, and wholly enigmatic, but we suggest you let the experts tell you…
Named for the God of Dreams in a Norse fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, each wine has its own unique story.
93 Points – Greg Sherwood MW | 17.5 Points – Jancis Robinson MW
“Wow. A wine that feels like the physical body shock of a hard-slammed door. It tastes like the sea. It tastes like the colour of the sea – moody, blue-green beautiful, restless. It has hard, high-cliff edges; white sun-bleached-shell minerality. The fruit tastes like lime and green melon pressed between sheets of plate glass. There is a line, by Sean Thomas Dougherty, in his poem ‘The Second O of Sorrow’, which goes, ‘Only to look up at the geometry // of sky’, and when I taste this wine, this is what is written on the abandoned-beach sand of its soul.” – Tamlyn Currin for Jancis Robinson MW.
93 Points – Greg Sherwood MW
“This impressive wine comes from a vineyard planted in 1995 on the Stony Brook farm in the Bo-Hoek area of Franschhoek. Despite its ultra-crystalline clear translucent colour, the wine saw a small amount of skin contact in the press before an extra four months ageing in stainless steel. There is an alluring dusty, stony mineral aromatic character on the attractive nose before more complex notes of lemon grass, lime peel, white pear, green herbs and lemon pastille emerge. At 10.5% Abv. the wine is impressively ample and ripe with taut textural layers of tart peach stone fruits, wet river pebble minerality and lime cordial, all framed by a steely, intense, glassy acidity that has more in common with Australia’s tart, dry Hunter Valley expressions than the more generous, glycerol, lanolin and lemon fruited expressions we are more used to from Franschhoek’s famous old vine vineyards. Like Lokaia’s other wines, this is another super classy expression that will seduce the fussiest of Old World fine wine aficionados. Drink from release and over the next 8 to 10+ years.” – Greg Sherwood MW.
94 Points – Greg Sherwood MW | 17 Points – Jancis Robinson MW
“This may be an unorthodox wine, but that smell is undeniably Cab Franc. Take an uneven gleaming blade, preferably old pewter, seen many whetstones; slice a pile of fresh green bell peppers until the knife bleeds capsicum; throw in the stink-bug aromatics of fresh coriander, roughly chopped; add the rough of tree bark, the pock marks of acid, the ancient sous of field mushrooms, the new-cut of topiary and the gossip-sharp red of cranberries. An urgent, fragile-strong wine that is the embodiment of Andrea Gibson’s raw, haunting My body is electric, especially when my power’s out.” – Tamlyn Currin for Jancis Robinson MW.