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Lourens Family Wines Howard John 2016

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Grape: 43% Cinsault, 43% Carignan 14% Grenache

ABV: 12.5%

Drink: Now to 2026+


Franco Lourens is assistant winemaker to legend Chris Alheit and is now making wines under his own label, which Chris strongly encouraged and supports to this day. 

43% Cinsault – Stellenbosch (43 years bushvines) & Darling (20 years bush vines)

43% Carignan – Wellington (38 years bushvines)

14% Grenache – Bot River (10 years)

No yeast, acid, enzymes or fining agents added.                                                                   

Wine was matured for 9 months in old French barrels.

100% whole bunch fermented.


The aromatics on the nose are incredibly intense and perfumed almost catching one unawares. Poured in a Zalto Burgundy glass, there are notes of lavender, marzipan, sweet red peppercorns but also violets and dried coriander seeds. While all very floral and lifted, there are also deeper, darker savoury notes of bresaola, cured meats, and red cherry spice.

You just don’t know where the palate at 12.5 Abv is going to take you. This is a real joy-ride in the back seat of a high powered sports car.

The palate is beautifully balanced and fresh, but shows impressive concentration of flavour. There are layers of sweet pithy red cherries, wild strawberry, sweet peppercorns, and raspberry ripple and the finish is rather enticing with pink stick candy and strawberry bon bons. Amazingly suave and harmonious for this type of red blend, with the varieties all pulling in the same synergistic direction.

An absolutely delicious wine displaying very accomplished winemaking using high quality fruit. This wine is named after and dedicated to Franco Lourens’ father, Howard John Lourens. I imagine he must be very proud of this namesake from Franco.

Drink now to 2026+

94 points Greg Sherwood MW



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