Four (Overgaauw) generations trump four cousins


Another version of the four-generation winemaker line-up of van Veldens at Overgaauw

The back labels of Overgaauw feature photographs of four generations of van Velden winemakers – utterly trumping, to my mind, the pics of four cousins on the front (nogal!) label of a certain dreadfully-bestselling rosé. It was a great idea to include these photos, I think, which adds a reality to the usual nonsense in the back-label text (“noble grape varieties”, “wine nurtured to perfection”, “passion” etc – though it somehow forgets that the grapes were surely picked at optimum ripeness and hand-crafted).

overgaauw_tourigaIt was a bottle of the Overgaauw Touriga Nacional 2012 whose back label caught my attention (the front label, incidentally, is notably elegant). It’s a most delicious wine – at something over R70 the first varietal touriga from Overgaauw, which was a local pioneer in using (in its ports) some of the traditional Portuguese port varieties.

I’m not going to say this is a great or even very serious wine – but it is a rather interesting, delicious, juicy one, with no pretensions, and with a good tannic grip (it is a port variety after all) keeping it from triviality.

Overgaauw looked, for some alarming years of the naughties, to be declining badly from its great days (the pioneer of varietal merlot, an early bottler of Bordeaux-style blends – though the earliest Tria Corda contained cinsaut in the great South African tradition!). But with David, the youngest van Velden in that four-person line-up, now firmly in charge of winemaking, things have been looking up again and this historic estate in the Stellenboschkloof is taking it’s proper place once more.

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