Craig Hawkins is the hotshot new winemaker at Lammershoek who is rightfully attracting a lot of attention for his avant-garde wines but the efforts of his predecessor Albert Ahrens (now at Goede Hoop in Stellenbosch) shouldn’t be entirely overlooked.
One of Hawkins’s primary objectives is to drive the Lammershoek wines in a lighter, fresher direction but a bottle of Roulette 2005 over the weekend demonstrated that wines in a bigger style weren’t necessarily doomed to failure.
A blend of 72% Shiraz, 9% Carignan, 9% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Viognier, it spent 14 months in barrel (a combination of 225 litre, 300 litre and 500 litre, approximately 20% of which was new). Alcohol by volume was 14.5% and though possessing heft, it was very much alive, primary even. Great aromatics, great fruit expression, bright acidity, fine tannins. Score: 17/20.