Blessed with one of the most idiosyncratic ranges of labels that I have encountered, the wines of La Vierge are mightily impressive and demonstrate all too clearly just what Hermanus has to offer. Two hours south of Stellenbosch, this is much cooler climate viticulture with early morning mists, no irrigation and much later picking and consequently longer hang time than is the case further north.
Winemaker Gerhard Smith’s career covers vintages in France, US, Australia and, most notably, at Gladstone Vineyards in Wairarapa, New Zealand which served to demonstrate the gifts that he has for coaxing the very best out of Pinot Noir. Returning to South Africa, Hermanus seemed to offer precisely the conditions and terroir that he was looking for and in La Vierge, which rubs shoulders with the likes of Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson he found an opportunity to let his skills shine.
The Affair Pinot Noir is a refined style of Pinot Noir showcasing the love affair between the soft, feminine side of Pinot, being the floral notes, hints of spice and silkiness; and the masculine linear strength of the tannins, hints of oak and brooding dark forest floor aromas. The palate is both silky and textured, displaying a lovely roundness as well as soft, integrated tannins and length.
This wine shows cool climate poise and elegance with an earthy and bright fruit character.This vintage expresses the typical earthy and savoury aroma of this fine Burgundy variety and is backed by a red fruit character.
This wine shows cool climate attraction and elegance with a shining, bright fruit character. On the eye she has a clear, bright red hue with a purple tint. On the nose she delivers ripe succulent raspberries and cherries with a hint of warm spiciness. And on the palate she offers a seduction folded in waves of red fruit and savoury enticement.