Zonnebloem's Lauréat an “unashamed expression of vintage”

 

The newly released 2012 Lauréat, Zonnebloem's flagship wine, features cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, petit verdot and mourvèdre from three Stellenbosch growers, including one whose family has been delivering to Zonnebloem for 65 years.

Intended as an “unashamed expression of vintage”, each release has a singular profile, shaped by the specific climatic conditions prefacing the harvest, says Bonny van Niekerk, who makes Zonnebloem's red wines under the baton of cellarmaster Deon Boshoff.

Lauréat is always dominated by cabernet sauvignon and includes a substantial portion of merlot and some shiraz, but petit verdot and/or mourvèdre or malbec are contingent on the harvest.

"We want intense, deep colour and the fragrances and flavours of full fruit ripeness but also some earthiness and firm but supple tannins. Ultimately, though, we let the vintage have the last say."

Bonny, a vegetarian, says carnivores love this wine because it partners well with osso bucco, venison roasts, slow-cooked lamb and hearty casseroles. She enjoys it best with truffle-infused mushroom risotto and robust cheeses.

Each pictorial element of the Lauréat label depicts some part of Zonnebloem’s history. Apart from the lion and the lamb, reflecting elements of the family coat of arms of one-time owners Petrus Jacobus Malherbe and John de Villiers, it carries the De Villiers motto, La main a l’oevre "the hand that works", a gable of the home of the Furters, another family who owned the farm for generations, and a trophy to underscore its award-winning history.

Price: ZAR95/bottle

Available: nationally from the major chains and certain specialty stores.

 
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