About Le Sueur
Le Sueur Wines is the dream of winemaker Louis Le Sueur van der Riet. This vision came about in 2006 during his first harvest and became a reality with the release of the maiden vintage of Le Sueur Wines in 2014.
Louis grew up in Kimberley but his love for the ocean led him to seek a career in marine biology. Over school holidays Louis spent some time working on an abalone farm outside Port Elizabeth to gain some insight into the life of a marine biologist, but soon realized that cleaning shells was far from the exiting life of Jacques Gusto and decided to feed his curiosity of wine. At the start of 2006 he signed up for his first harvest at a Co–operative cellar outside Worcester where he was hooked into the art of crafting wine. Later that year Louis did an internship at Silver Oak Cellars in the Napa Valley, USA, and upon his return started with his studies of winemaking at Elsenburg, Stellenbosch. At the end of 2009 he graduated with a degree in both viticulture and oenology and was appointed as Assistant Winemaker at Allesverloren Estate in the Swartland before the end of 2009. Louis completed three harvests at Allesveloren and at the start of August 2012 he was awarded the position as Head Winemaker at De Krans in Calitzdorp, where he won the SA Young Wine Show trophy of S.A best Cape Port in 2014 and 2018. He was selected as a finalist for Diners club young winemaker of the year twice, won the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show trophy for S.A best red Blend twice with consecutive vintages and was awarded with 5 – Platter 5 star wines in 7 years.
He has won 3 double gold medals at Veritas for his Port wines and a trophy at Michelangelo for MCC, 2 double gold medals at Rose Rocks challenge in 2 years and 5 national winners at the Terroir Wine Awards over the last seven years. The trophy for the best Cape Port at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2015 and awarded the best South African fortified wine award by MW Tim Atkin three consecutive years to name only the most notable. Since Louis followed his dream of crafting unique Klein Karoo terroir wines in 2014 he has also made the Klein Karoo’s first ever Platter 5-star rated red wine with his 2016 Paradoks and received the highest rating for a Klein Karoo white wine by Tim Atkin in 2019 for the 2018 Le Sueur Kluisenaar.
Queen of Hearts
50% Pinot Noir / 50% Cinsault
These wines are available in limited quantities.
In 1925 Prof Isak Perold successfully merged Pinot Noir and Cinsault (Hermitage) to create the world-famous South African grape Pinotage, resulting in superb dark medium to full-bodied red wines. Le Sueur Wines took up the challenge to recreate this fusion by blending Pinot Noir from cool Elgin and old Swartland bush vine Cinsault, resulting in a soft and elegant red wine. A Paradox to the better known Pinotage varietal wines. ‘Pinotage’ in its natural form, unfiltered and unfined.
Hand-harvested early morning at the end of March, the Pinot Noir arrived cool at the cellar. The juice was fermented on the skins in an open tank for five days with a light pump over twice daily. The juice finished alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in the barrel. The Cinsault was 20% whole bunch with the rest crushed on top. It started fermentation naturally and a screen was put over the skins to hold the cap down for three days during fermentation. The screen was then lifted and the whole berries (from the 20% whole bunch) crushed one by one by hand and the stalks removed. After a couple more days of fermentation, the skins where lightly pressed in a small basket press and the juice left to complete alcohol and malolactic fermentation in barrel.
The two separate components spent 15 months in 3rd full French oak Barrels. Blending was done just before bottling unfiltered and unfined. Only 1200 bottles produced.
Colour : Luminescent pomegranate red.
Bouquet : An indulgent nose of red fruits, cherries, strawberries, spice, earthiness and a hint of Rooibos and subtle oak.
Taste : Elegant complex wine with alluring flavours of mulberries, ripe red cherries, a rocky minerality and spice. Soft quaffable tannins and smooth lasting finish with hints of Rooibos on the finish.
Best enjoyed on its own or the perfect hot summer’s day red wine. Will pair well with pan-fried duck breast with red wine and cranberry jus or pan seared springbok fillet with rocket and balsamic dressing.
Platter Wine Guide 2018 – 5 Star
Tim Atkin 92 points – 2016 Vintage
Tim Atkin 91 Points – 2015 Vintage
Platter Guide 2020 – 4.5 Stars
Pinot Noir planted during 2010 in Table Mountain Sandstone soils on Casey’s Ridge in Elgin. The Vines are about 270 m above sea level and roughly 9 km from False Bay. The north-facing slopes and cool conditions result in slow ripening of the berries which results in excellent quality concentrated fruit.
21-year-old bush vine Cinsault planted on Knolfontein in the Swartland. The vines are planted in old sand stone just west of the town of Riebeek West and nurtured for by forth generation farmer Pieter du Toit on his 200 ha vineyard farm.
These wines are available in limited quantities.
A recluse from the rest of South Africa’s wine regions, the Klein Karoo has been frowned upon as a dry wine-producing region. Many special vineyards hidden below the Swartberg are lost into bulk blends. Striving to discover these hidden vineyards standing alone and away from its famous brothers in other regions, Kluisenaar brings tribute to the reclusive blocks of Chenin Blanc in the Klein Karoo.
At the cellar the crates are packed into a cold room over night to cool down. The next morning the bunches are destemmed and the berries crushed into tank. The juice is left on the skins till the afternoon before the juice is separated and pumped into barrel. The juice was left to its own account to ferment naturally in 33% new French Oak and 66% older French Oak Barrels for 10 months with the lees stirred up every three months before racking and bottling. Without disturbing nature this wine was made from nature by nature to bring you Chenin Blanc in its most natural form unfiltered and unfined.
Colour : Light gold with a green tinge.
Bouquet : Complex full flavours of tropical fruit, soft white pear and apricot. Slight butterscotch, lime and soft honey oak.
Taste : Full complex flavours of honey, lime and soft fruit. Well-integrated fresh acidity and round vanilla oak tannins with a long-lasting smooth silky finish.
Best enjoyed on its own or perfect on a summer day with braaied chicken or pork fillet. Also works well with pasta Alfredo or pan-fried yellowtail.
Tim Atkin ’19 SA report 94 points
Platter 2020 Wine Guide 4.5 stars
Enos Top 15 SA White Wines
WineMag 94 rating 2019
Hidden between the cliffs of the spectacular Meiringspoort mountain pass lies an amazing little vineyard called Varkenskraal. The 6 Ha vines are cared for by manager Herman van der Walt where he lives a reclusive lifestyle with his wife and 2 children alone with no reception. The old Chenin vines are planted in decomposed shale soils irrigated with fresh mountain water. Planted on an easterly facing slope and a daily fresh mountain breeze cools down the grapes in the afternoon. The grapes are hand-harvested into crates beginning to middle February and trucked to the cellar.
These wines are available in limited quantities.
Before and after Louis’s studies to become a winemaker Louis spent some time working and gaining experience in wineries over the world. He worked at Silver Oak Cellars in the Napa Valley which is one of the leading producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in the USA. Specialising in only Cabernet Sauvignon and with a unique barrel and bottle maceration regime, the wines has incredible depth and concentration enabling them to last decades in the bottle.
Louis produced a Cabernet Sauvignon similar in style and following the unique ageing regime of leaving the wine in barrel for three years followed by at least two years in bottle before the wine gets released to the public. This is a once-off limited release, handcrafted wine with only 300 bottles crafted.
500 kg of small berry Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested and hand crushed into 2 plastic fruit bins. The grapes where cooled with home made copper cooling plates and left until fermentation started spontaneously (after about three days). From the start the grapes were punched down by hand every 3 hours until fermentation stopped. The skins were pressed with a small basket press and the wine pumped into one 3rd full 225L French oak barrel. The wine was racked three times during the first year in barrel and racked another four times in the following two years for a total of three years in barrel. After the three years the wine was bottled from the barrel and left in bottle for another two years. Only 300 bottles of this limited release Klein Karoo wine was made.
Colour : Dark ruby red colour.
Bouquet : Enchanting Complex flavours of dried prunes, glazed cherries, herbs, oak and subtle hints of spearmint whirls around in the glass.
Taste : On the palate the wine is smooth and integrated. Flavours of oak, dried fruits, herbs and cacao. The tannins are ripe and juicy with a lasting savouring finish.
Best enjoyed with that special person on a memorable day. Pair with a hearty oxtail on those cold winter nights in front of the fireplace, or with flame grilled beef fillet, roasted vegetables and Bordelaise.
After playing with the idea of recreating ‘Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon’, Louis approached friend and vine grower Jos Nel on his farm Rosevilla outside Calitzdorp to create an iconic, different style of Klein Karoo Cabernet Sauvignon that has not been tried before. A specific block of Cabernet Sauvignon on the Southern furthest bank of the Gamka river was selected, planted in decomposed agglomerated rock in 1980 the vines provided small berries with concentrated fruit. The deal was simple, Jos gave the grapes and Louis will make the wine and together they will create a Klein Karoo wine of note.
Wild Card Wines are the collaboration of Winemaker Louis van der Riet and South Cape distribution icon Juan Koen. Together they identified a need for good quality Klein Karoo driven wines that challenge the general perception for wines from the Klein Karoo. Louis sources grapes from around the Klein Karoo looking for special vineyards and micro pockets with great potential.
Together with the farmers the vines are nurtured for to give great quality Klein Karoo wines that will redefine your perception and win your heart. Challenging the norm these wines are Wild Cards in their respected varieties that will have you with a winning hand at any occasion. Predictably unpredictable these wines are full of character and revolutionizes the possibility of Klein Karoo terroir motivated wines.
Harvesting takes place mid-March during early morning to ensure the coolest possible berries. The fruit is handled with extreme care and only the best berries are hand selected. At the cellar the clusters are destemmed and lightly crushed into a closed tank and left on the skins for a couple of hours. Then the free run juice is separated and fermentation takes place at cool temperatures for about a month. The wine is left on its lees for another 6 months before bottling.
Colour : Clear crisp translucent colour.
Bouquet : Beautiful fresh green pepper, cut grass, fynbos opening up to passion fruit and guava fruit salad nose.
Taste : Fresh tropical fruits and cut grass/green pepper palate with a mineral flint finish, well balanced acidity and a lingering finish.
Great with fresh cob or west coast Stumpnose served with a lime dressing. The wine also works well with any pâté or salads.
Gold Wine Awards 2020 – GOLD
Vitis Vinifera Awards 2020 – GOLD
Platter 2019 – 4 Star Gold @ Gold Wine awards 2019
These vineyards are situated between the peaks of the majestic Outeniqua Mountains. Planted in rocky granite soils on four-wire Perold trellis over 600 m above sea level and only 20 km from the ocean in the heartland of the South African hops land. Fog from the ocean covers the vineyards till late in the morning and cool mountain breezes keep the grapes cool during the afternoon. Resulting in excellent conditions to grow quality Sauvignon Blanc
QUEEN OF HEARTS
The grapes are harvested beginning of March at 23- 24’ balling into crates and then loaded onto a truck to make the 200 km journey to the cellar during the night. The next morning the grapes are destemmed and crushed into open lagar where the grapes are cooled for a period of 24 hours before yeast is added to the must and the fermentation begins. During this time the juice is softly pumped over the skins and at the end of fermentation the juice is drained and the skins are pressed. The wine spends time in tank to undergo malolactic fermentation before it is transferred to barrel where it spends 12 months before the final fining and bottling.
Colour : Beautiful dark cherry red colour.
Bouquet : Initial notes of fresh plums, cedar wood and pomegranate as the wine opens up to a bouquet of ripe berries and red fruits with hints of dried herbs.
Taste : Soft elegant flavours fills the palette. Fresh dark fruit dominates the taste, plums, cherries, nothing jammy or overly ripe. The wine is balanced and poised with smooth tannins, fruity sweetness and lingering taste.
This wine will be enjoyed best with friends at any braai, or a roasted veg couscous salad, pizza or your favorite burger.
Gold Wine Awards 2020 – GOLD
WineMag Best Value Merlot 2019
WineMag 89 Points 2019
Vitis Vinifera Gold Award 2019
QUEEN OF HEARTS
Low yielding Merlot vines planted in old shale soils in the Keisie valley. These are some of the oldest soils of South Africa forming part of the Bokkeveld Shale group. Some of South Africa’s oldest fossils where found alongside the banks of the Keisie River in 1805.
The Platter’s by Diners Club South Africa Wine Guide 2018 was launched at Cape Town’s The Table Bay Hotel on 3 November 2017 with over 200 guests in attendance. The VIP’s included wine producers who had achieved the maximum 5-star rating in the new edition – reserved for wines that are “South African classics” and scored 95 points or more. A total of 111 5-star wines are featured from a total of over 8000 wines scored in the 2018 guide. Publisher of the internationally recognized guide, Jean-Pierre Rossouw says: “As per last year all wines that were scored 4.5-stars (90 points) or in the primary assessment went into a second round of tasting, conducted blind
(without sight of the label) by small panels experienced palates from outside the team.”
The 5-star Le Sueur Paradoks 2016, a 50/50% blend of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, was one of only nineteen red blends to be awarded 5-star status in the 2018 guide. Only 1000 bottles of this hand-crafted wine has been produced. The wine is described in the Platter’s Wine Guide as being “a Calitzdorp Cinsault bright red fruit, Outeniqua Pinot Noir’s deeper berry, cherry and earthy notes – perfumed charm and elegance of both, dry, fresh, lightish and harmonious.”
A Word From
A Seasoned Connoisseur
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet expresses to Romeo that a name is a reproduction and worthless resolution, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, but neither does she know the Montague name, nor the Montague family. So what does Shakespeare’s quote have to do with a paradox? Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary, paradox (noun), means an outwardly illogical or contradictory statement or suggestion which, when examined, may be proven to be factual or true. Or is it? The key to this arbitrary remark is born from Louis Le Sueur van der Riet’s wine, The Le Sueur Paradoks 2015, which is a 50:50 blend of Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, the two parent grape varieties of South Africa’s own Pinotage.
Louis, who is the winemaker at De Krans, thought long and hard over this paradox, and liked the idea to blend the two components that should result in an excellent union. That is exactly what he did. I had the privilege to taste the Paradoks before its launch, thanks to a good friend’s influence, Denise Lindley, who is also a friend of Louis le Sueur van der Riet. At first I thought the wine was merely a novel idea, blending Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, or paradoxical Pinotage. But after tasting it, I was astonished by this absolute “big, yet elegant” wine. It ticked off all the boxes that you want to taste in a well-made, well-balanced and serious wine. Packed with flavours of red berries, black cherries, mulberries, spice, earthiness, and subtle hints of oak, the wine was very multifaceted and multilayered. Read more
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