Lowerland Die Verlore Bokooi #6 NV
Red | Ready, but will keep | Lowerland | NV | South Africa > Northern Cape > Prieska | Syrah (46%), Merlot (42%), Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Petit Verdot (6%) | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.78% abv
Bertie Coetzee represents the sixth generation of his family to farm at Lowerland, on the banks of the broad Orange River near Prieska in the Northern Cape.
Let’s not beat around the bush: this is not traditional wine country. The main crops are maize and plump, melt-in-your-mouth pecans, alongside an award-winning beef stud; but in 1999 the first grapevines were planted by Bertie’s father Hennie, literally sowing the seeds for a game changing endeavour continued by Bertie after he joined the farm in 2013.
The desert-like climate is peculiar, being at approximately 29 degrees south so on the outer limits of what’s considered prime viticultural latitude, but the African heat is moderated by over 1,000 metres of altitude and consequentially high diurnal range. Summer rains can be problematic but generally conditions are dry and therefore favourable for organic farming, with the vineyards certified by Ecocert.
Bertie and his team are striving for a holistic, regenerative model of farming, converting all land to organic practices. Bertie has worked tirelessly to put Prieska on the South African wine map and gain approval for Wine of Origin status, a landmark achievement for what is – if anything – a rudimentary bulk wine region.
Die Verlore Bokooi (translates as "the lost goat") is a marvellously enjoyable red wine, the 2016 vintage chosen as a "Hidden Gem" in the 2018 Platter's guide.
This non-vintage blend of the 2017 and 2018 vintages was made by JD Pretorius, and blends Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. All varieties were fermented naturally and separately.
Lighter than the 2016 release, the nose starts with fresh cherries, musk and notes of eucalyptus and cedarwood, supported by the balanced acidity of mid-palate. Elegant finish with hints of white pepper and roast beef. A wine for all occasions - this Bokooi hits the sweet spot between elegance, complexity and drinkability.