Review: Wines of Lievland, 2017 Vintage
Hailing from South Africa, Lievland (“love land” in Afrikaans) is new to the U.S. Some details: “The winery is a new project from José Conde and brothers Tyrrel and Philip Myburgh, partners in MAN Family Wines. Located on the road to Paarl, known as the “Golden Mile” and home to many of Stellenbosch’s best-known wineries, Lievland was considered one of South Africa’s prime farms in the 1980s. Today, Condé and the Myburgh brothers aim to restore the estate they bought in 2017 to its former glory. For the three partners and their families, Lievland Vineyards is the reflection of both their love for this winemaking region and their dedication to sustainable viticulture.”
Today we look at the three inaugural Lievland wines being released in the U.S., a white and two reds.
2017 Lievland Old Vines Chenin Blanc Paarl– 100% chenin blanc. Bold up front with notes of apple, peaches, and melon, but buttery underneath, almost like a chardonnay. The combination of fresh fruit and an almost chewy body are unusual for chenin blanc, but Lievland’s rendition is so lively and expressive that it’s impossible not to enjoy. The finish, featuring toasted coconut and tropical fruits, is particularly enjoyable. A / $19
2017 Lievland Cabernet Sauvignon Central Region – 86% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cinsault, and 6% shiraz. A rather basic cabernet, quite dry at first, with dense red fruit emerging as the palate opens up. Some green, herbal and tobacco notes a bit later on offer a diversion from what is otherwise a straightforward dousing of blackberry and currant character, though it’s not really not enough to elevate things into an area of enduring interest. B / $19
2017 Lievland Bushvine Pinotage Paarl – 88% pinotage, 9% cinsault, and 3% shiraz. The iconic meatiness of pinotage is omnipresent on the nose, while an ample fruitiness populates the palate, showcasing notes of fresh red berries with a kick of rhubarb in the mix. A bit beefy throughout, but with enough bright berry pop to keep things fresh and (particularly) food-friendly. B+ / $19