Delheim’s Spatzendreck 2019 tells a story of turning what was deemed initially as a failure, into pure liquid gold by the late Spatz Sperling. This year we celebrate 60 years of this fine wine.
I’m drawn to specific wines mostly because of their story; the tale captured in the glass which will be unveiled with the first pouring. I’m yet to find a wine with a more incredible, humourous and slightly cheeky backstory than Delheim’s Spatzendreck, the natural sweet wine that has captured the hearts of fine wine lovers.
I was delighted to be included in the celebrations around Spatzendreck’s 60th anniversary this year, and received a 2019 vintage to mark this momentous occasion.
One of South Africa’s most loved and quirkiest fine wines celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with the latest release by Delheim in Stellenbosch. What some first derided as a failure, the late Spatz Sperling resurrected to become a beloved choice of South African new wine lovers. He called it Spatzendreck.
Since 2013, the winemaking style changed Spatzendreck to a natural sweet, barrel-aged wine. This is a collector’s item to treasure the farm’s history and reminisce over pioneering efforts, tenacity and a sense of humour (press release).
Delheim’s Spatzendreck 2019
Tasting notes: The nose showing citrus blossoms, quince and honey. The palate has lingering flavours of mango, dried apricot, honey and toasted almonds. The wine
is well balanced between the intense fruit flavours, sugar levels and the lingering acidity.
In the vineyard: 24% Muscat d’ Frontignon, 38% Chenin Blanc, 38% Weisser Riesling
In the cellar: The grapes are left on the vines to dry naturally to 30˚ Balling
(Brix). Fermentation is stopped at the right alcohol and sugar levels and the wine is then left in barrel to mature for 9 months.
Cellaring potential: Careful cellaring will allow the wine to age for 10 to 20 years from vintage.
Cellar door price: The Spatzendreck 2019 sells for R245 per 500ml bottle and is only available from the farm or through Delheim’s online shop at https://www.delheim.com/shop-online/.
Vetkoek and quince jam
I’ve always wanted to do something with quince fruit. Gnarly and slightly reminiscent of apples, my first attempt at turning quince into something palatable, I decided to cook a batch of jam.
These curious quinces, after a morning’s slow rolling boil with sugar and lemon juice, turned into a dark rose-coloured preserve, with a surprisingly sweet aroma, slightly like ripe pears. Perfectly jammy, I could now start building my food pairing with the Spatzendreck.
A brown bag of freshly fried vetkoek happened over my path and the last touch I added to this decadent bite was thick slices of pan-seared halloumi cheese.
A humble bread vessel, stuffed with warm cheese and quince jam, it was an unusual, yet delicious, pairing for the Spatzendreck 2019, echoing the warm, intense fruit flavours and imitating the slight hint of quince on the nose.
Not too sweet, it was a beautifully unpresumptuous weekend lunch snack that may just as well have been dessert.
What a lovely story of a full live lived, forever captured in one of South Africa’s most loved fine wines. May the “mossie” adorn the label of Spatzendreck for many more decades to come; a reminder to all of us to not take life too seriously, and that there’s always something good to be found in the bad.
Thank you so much, Delheim, for including me in this celebration, as we cheers to another 60 years of this iconic wine!
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.