The legacy continues to unfold at L’Avenir Estate with Pinotage & Chenin Blanc at the forefront.

The legacy continues to unfold at L’Avenir Estate with Pinotage & Chenin Blanc at the forefront.

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CAPTIONS:
L’Avenir Single Block Chenin Blanc 2014;
L’Avenir Single Block Pinotage 2013;
L’Avenir Provenance Chenin Blanc 2014;
L’Avenir Provenance Pinotage 2013;
L’Avenir winemaker Dirk Coetzee;
L’Avenir wine cellar;
L’Avenir Cellardoor exterior;
L’Avenir Cellardoor interior;
L’Avenir Pinotage Lounge in the heart of the cellar;
L’Avenir Pinotage Deck in the vineyards;
L’Avenir Country Lodge.

Describing itself as “proudly South African with a touch of French flair”, French-owned L’Avenir Estate, situated in an area of the Stellenbosch winelands known as the ‘golden triangle’, remains committed to its legacy, maintaining a focus on South Africa’s signature varieties: Pinotage and Chenin Blanc which have led the estate’s acclaim.

In their honour, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage are represented in all three of L’Avenir’s new wine ranges sporting elegant modern labels, an exclusive Pinotage Lounge was recently unveiled in the heart of the wine cellar, and a beautiful wooden Pinotage Deck has been built in the vineyards.

THE LEGACY
Since its inception, this Stellenbosch winery has specialised in Cape stalwarts Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, with a subtle French tone, most obviously in its name, meaning ‘the future’.

When Mauritian-born, Marc Wiehe founded L’Avenir in 1992, the farm was growing grapes for Nederburg Estate. Under the guidance of Wiehe and now legendary winemaker Francois Naude, L’Avenir swiftly rose to icon status, domestically and abroad. The 1997 L’Avenir Chenin Blanc was ranked best in the country at that year’s WINE magazine Chenin Blanc Challenge. By 2004, no Pinotage had been named as frequently as L’Avenir among the Top Ten in the annual Absa Pinotage Competition, winning awards for 7 out of 8 vintages. Furthermore L’Avenir was a triple winner of the Perold Trophy for best Pinotage at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. And all this in addition to numerous Veritas Double Gold and Gold Awards, as well as several accolades for their Chardonnay at Chardonnay du Monde.

L’Avenir’s reputation for benchmark Chenin Blanc and Pinotage has been highlighted in Platter’s wine guide over the years:

“This is heart and soul winemaking, right through the range, from the dramatic blaze-for-glory pinotage to an extraordinary chenin.” Platter’s 1999 Wine Guide.

“Only eight years ago they were the new kids on a very exclusive block… Today they’re the leaders of the pack, consistent international and local award-winners. Naude plucked chenin out of the typing pool and put it on the main Cape board”… producing “silk-purse stuff, as he wrings every drop of drama and intrigue from the Cape’s most common grape… And as for local yokel pinotage… Naudé is a modern virtuoso with this home grape.” Platter’s 2000 Wine Guide.

“The whole operation is an international (not just Cape) success story.” 2003 Platter’s Wine Guide.

In 2005, famous Chablis producer Michel Laroche purchased L’Avenir from Marc Wiehe, affording Laroche a rare opportunity to secure an operating property in the Cape’s most sought-after district. Francois Naude went into semi-retirement but stayed on as winemaking consultant and the estate’s focus remained firmly on the cultivars deemed most emblematic of the country: Pinotage and Chenin Blanc.

A 2010 merger with French family Jeanjean formed a new venture, AdVini – the third-largest wine producer in France – and L’Avenir joined a brotherhood of some of the most acclaimed and pedigreed wines in the world.

THE NEW ERA – THE LEGACY LIVES ON

L’Avenir’s new era under AdVini has seen both a consolidation and a revival of the estate – but always retaining Pinotage and Chenin Blanc as the estate’s signature varieties.

With Dirk Coetzee as winemaker and one of the fathers of Pinotage, Francois Naude, as his mentor, L’Avenir cemented their status as Pinotage icon in 2013 by winning their eighth Absa Top 10 Pinotage Trophy. “For a winery such as L’Avenir to win an Absa Top 10 Trophy at the inaugural competition in 1997 and to still have what it takes to come out top in 2013, is an amazing achievement. It not only says a lot about the winemaking team’s commitment to Pinotage and its understanding of the grape’s unique intricacies, but also speaks volumes of the importance of established terroir in the specific region,” says Beyers Truter, chairman of the Pinotage Association.

NEW VINTAGE RELEASE OF CHENIN BLANC AND PINOTAGE FROM L’AVENIR’S SINGLE BLOCK AND PROVENANCE WINE RANGES

L’AVENIR’S FLAGSHIP SINGLE BLOCK CHENIN BLANC AND PINOTAGE
The premium Single Block range is the farm’s flagship range featuring wines made with great care from select mature single vineyard blocks that consistently produce excellent quality fruit in very limited volume. The wines are made to age, and in a style that accentuates the complexity of the fruit. These bottles, dedicated to Francois Naudé, are individually numbered and signed by the current winemaker. The elegant labels are based on a satellite image of the vineyard with the named block accentuated in gold. Capturing global collaboration and local innovation, L’Avenir’s new visual identity lives up to its pedigree as a world-recognised winery from Stellenbosch’s ‘golden triangle’.

L’Avenir Single Block Chenin Blanc 2014 (New Vintage Release)

Established in 1972, this 2-hectare single block of Chenin Blanc, Block 30, is the oldest block on the farm and one of the oldest in South Africa still used for vinification. Row and bunch selection of this single block make it possible to produce the Single Block Chenin Blanc.
Fermentation and maturation: Partial fermentation and 12 months maturation in Acacia and French oak.
Tasting notes: The nose mesmerises with sun-dried apricots and peach blossoms, ripe yellow pears, sweet oranges and a delicate hint of nuts. A full fruit-rich palate bursts with tropical flavours of pineapple, pear and apricot with well-balanced acidity and oak nuances, and is followed by a touch of citrus and a whisper of almond that lingers with elegance. The gentle acidity ensures that this wine remains crisp and refreshing.
Suggested food pairing: This wine will be an ideal accompaniment to spiced seafood dishes such as paella.
Awards: Recently rated 17.5 by Steven Spurrier of Decanter
The previous vintage was awarded a Double Gold at the 2014 Vitis Vinifera Awards and 4½ stars in the Platter’s 2015 wine guide.
Retail price: R180 – only 3000 bottles produced

L’Avenir Single Block Pinotage 2013 (New Vintage Release)
L’Avenir’s 1.2-hectare single block of Pinotage, Block 2, is dryland bush vines, ranging in age from 15–30 years, which have consistently produced exceptional quality fruit. Up until recently, the fruit from these vines had been blended with fruit from other blocks of Pinotage on the estate. In 2012, it was decided to bottle the individual block to showcase the finest traits of the variety. Malolactic fermentation: 100% in new French oak.

Maturation: 18 months in new French oak
Tasting notes: Ripe black cherries, plums, intense spicy fruitcake and chocolate are predominant on the nose, supported by sweet oak characters, delicate floral notes and traces of tobacco. On the palate dynamic, rich plummy fruit and complex oak flavours are complemented by a full-body structure, fine tannins and a powerful finish ending with ample soft tannins. This wine is powerful and intense, yet restrained, and will mature exceptionally well over the next decade.

Suggested food pairing: Serve with flavourful red meats such as game fillet.

Awards: Recently rated 18.25 by Steven Spurrier of Decanter
The previous vintage was awarded a Double Gold at the 2014 Vitis Vinifera Awards and 4½ stars in the Platter’s 2015 wine guide.
Retail price: R300 – only 5000 bottles produced

L’AVENIR’S PROVENANCE CHENIN BLANC AND PINOTAGE
The middle-tier Provenance range is the Estate range, showcasing well-crafted wines of local origin made in a style that best accentuates the terroir of the region.

L’Avenir Provenance Chenin Blanc 2014 (New Vintage Release)
Tasting notes: A full palate abounds with rich flavours of ripe pineapple, juicy pear and melon combined with delicate honey and toasted almond from partial fermentation in oak casks. The gentle acidity ensures this wine remains refreshing and crisp.
Retail price: ± R80

L’Avenir Provenance Pinotage 2013 (New Vintage Release)
Tasting notes: After an impressive introduction of dark berries, this rich red wine unravels with layers of floral notes, vanilla and tempting toffee. Its beautiful balance of flavours and velvety texture depart with a lasting impression of depth and elegance.
Retail price: ± R120

THE PINOTAGE LOUNGE
In March this year, in honour of the varietal which has driven the estate’s acclaim, L’Avenir opened their Pinotage Lounge: South Africa’s first venue dedicated exclusively to the emblematic varietal. Located in the heart of the cellar, this unique innovation invites Pinotage enthusiasts to experience exclusive tastings hosted by winemaker Dirk Coetzee, as well as private events and corporate functions, and the opportunity to buy rare Pinotage bottlings dating back to the establishment of the farm. The Pinotage Lounge marks the culmination of several years of steady investment in L’Avenir, including the introduction of state-of-the-art winemaking equipment and a significantly increased barrel-aging programme. The stylishly appointed Pinotage Lounge features walls lined with awards and award-winning wines, a beautiful table crafted by Dirk Coetzee, inlaid with brass plaques engraved with the history of the farm, and floors made from recycled wine barrels.

THE PINOTAGE DECK (LEOPARD’S VIEW)
At the highest point of the farm, amidst Pinotage Block 2, stands an old tree. Around the base of this tree, L’Avenir has established a beautiful wooden deck, ideal for intimate events or sundowners. Soon a tractor-drawn trailer will be taking visitors through the vineyards and up to the deck in good weather.

THE COUNTRY LODGE AT L’AVENIR LUXURIOUS COUNTRY LIFESTYLE AMONGST THE VINEYARDS
The Country Lodge at L’Avenir allows you to step out of the hustle and bustle, offering elegant accommodation amongst the rolling vineyards on a working wine farm. The 4-star luxury bed & breakfast is an eleven suite retreat with a central great room, a spacious deck and breakfast alcove overlooking a shaded infinity pool and one of three picturesque dams. Each with individual deck or terrace, the rooms are fresh, gracious and welcoming.

A VISIT TO L’AVENIR
L’Avenir is a hidden gem, located just outside the quaint town of Stellenbosch, but far enough removed to feel like the middle of nowhere. This boutique estate with extraordinary views, nestled in the valley below the magnificent Simonsberg Mountains, is as pretty as a picture. At the heart of the estate, surrounding an exquisite Jacaranda tree, the charming Cellardoor tasting room, wine cellar and guesthouse overlook lush green lawns, tranquil dams and rolling vineyards. L’Avenir is a sophisticated blend of old and new, where rustic meets refined, with elements of modernity effortlessly woven into the setting without losing the special old world charm.

Wine tasting and sales: Monday to Friday: 9am until 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm;
The L’Avenir Pinotage Lounge is open during tasting room operating hours and for private functions.
Bookings are essential.
Cellar tours by appointment.

Visit www.lavenirestate.co.za.

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