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Leeu Passant Dry Red 2017


About this wine

Introducing the Leeu Passant Dry Red 2017, a masterful blend that captures the spirited essence of South Africa’s winemaking tradition. This is a wine born from the rich tapestry of the Cape’s most coveted vineyards, nurtured by a year of optimal conditions that allowed for the full expression of each grape varietal’s potential. The 2017 vintage is celebrated for its seamless harmony and depth, yielding a wine that’s both robust and nuanced. The Leeu Passant Dry Red is a testament to the passion that goes into every bottle, crafted for the discerning drinker who appreciates a red wine with character, sophistication, and a true sense of place.

Technical Notes

  • Grape Varieties: A select blend of traditional South African varietals, each contributing to the structure, flavor, and aroma of the wine.
  • Vineyard Location: The grapes are sourced from premium vineyards in the Western Cape, known for their ideal grape-growing conditions.
  • Soil Composition: Varied soils across the vineyards contribute to the complexity and depth of flavor in the wine.
  • Climate: The 2017 vintage was characterized by a moderate climate, which provided a longer growing season, allowing grapes to develop full flavor profiles and balanced acidity.
  • Harvesting: Hand-harvested to ensure the highest quality of grape selection.
  • Fermentation: The wine underwent fermentation with indigenous yeasts, which help to highlight the natural flavors and terroir of the vineyard.
  • Aging Process: Aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels to achieve a harmonious integration of oak and fruit.
  • Tannin Structure: Firm, well-integrated tannins contribute to the wine’s structure and aging potential.
  • Alcohol Content: Typically around 14-14.5%, which complements the wine’s robust character.
  • Tasting Notes: A complex nose of dark fruits, tobacco, cedar, and spice. On the palate, flavors of cassis, dark cherry, leather, and dark chocolate are evident, with a balanced acidity and smoky undertones.
  • Bottling: The wine is bottled with the philosophy of minimal intervention, ensuring that its rich character and quality are preserved.

Tasting Notes

From one parcel of 38 year old dry farmed bush vine Cabernet Sauvignon planted in deep alluvial soils of Stellenbosch; one 117 year old dry farmed bush vine Cinsault vineyard (South Africa’s oldest registered Red Wine Vineyard) planted in deep sandy alluvial soils in Wellington; one parcel of 95 year old (SA’s 2nd oldest registered Red Wine Vineyard) dry farmed bush vine Cinsault planted on the lower eastern slopes of
Franschhoek mountains; and a parcel of high altitude Cabernet Franc planted on the mid slopes of the Helderberg mountain in Stellenbosch.

Grapes are cooled in our cold room then destemmed into tank. The final blend is with 50% whole clusters. Minimal sulphur is added, and no further additions are made. The must is initially pigeaged once a day. After about 4 days fermentation begins without inoculation and the wine is pigeaged twice a day. Temperatures are not allowed to exceed 28°C. Fermentation lasts from 7 to 10 days. After fermentation, a couple of weeks skin contact is given, and the wine is then drained and pressed to barrel. The wines are racked and blended mid-way through the year and bottled after 20 months in barrel.

This medium to full-bodied wine has attractive aromas of mulberry leaves, cassis and cedar. These follow through on the palate which has a firm structure, grainy tannins, and hints of peppercorns and tobacco. The finish is dry, layered and long. Although surprisingly accessible now, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting if drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling and will reward if cellared properly over the next few decades. Best served at 16-18°C.