Some call him a rebel and others say that he has a real punk-like approach to winemaking, breaking all the rule books or in some cases rewriting them. All that we know is that he is probably one of the most creative and talented winemakers that we have ever encountered during our time at Philglas & Swiggot. You come across winemakers from time to time that has a great story, but the wine doesn't quite match up to the hype, or the wine is great but it just lacks in story and context. In the case of Pieter Hauptfleisch Walser that is not the case, there is a beautiful meeting point where creativity and craftsmanship just meets in beautiful harmony.
The story began in 2004 when Pieter started out making small parcels of Syrah. He happened to have a few unlabelled bottles lying around, when a lady one day walked into the office and asked for anything but Syrah, as she doesn't like Syrah. Pieter went ahead and sold her a couple of unlabelled bottles of Syrah without her knowledge, she was back a week later and wanted a couple of cases, as it was the most delicious wine she had ever had. For Pieter, this was a real lesson in what people think they dislike and actually like, or the other way round. This was also the point where BLANKbottle would no longer carry any varietal labelling, as it is the wine inside the bottle that defines whether you like it or not and not what is stated on the outside of the bottle.
Pieter does not actually own a single vine, instead he scours the Cape Winelands and uses trusted sources to stay on top of quality fruit that may have slipped under the radar, he now sources fruit from up to 70 sites. Some years he makes up to 20 wines and other years 35, the man is a machine. With variety and the much talked about regionality taking a backseat, the parcel expression does the driving in this case. There is no better way to describe the man, than directly referencing one of our favourite South African importers, "the wines from BLANKbottle is some of South Africa's most original wines, made by on the country's most original winemakers. Be warned though, Pieter and his imagination may take you on a vinous journey like no other, and everything that follows this experience may seem fairly mediocre ;-)
The 'Jaa Bru' is named after the winery owner that supplies Pieter with the Malbec grapes for this wine. The varietal in the hands of BLANKbottle shows a completely different side to Malbec, unlike the more taught-structured, dark and inky wines of the Cahors in France and the richly-textured almost seductive style that Argentina famously gives us. At 13.5% the wine shows a beautiful fresh and almost vibrant side, with crisp red and black berry fruit, cacao and a saline like mineral finish. A wine that really makes you go back for more and more as your mind tries to decipher and make the connection between what you are drinking and Malbec as you know it... But what were you expecting, the man is a genius!
Origin: Stellenbosch / Western Cape / South Africa