La Bri estate wines developing maturity

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012
La Bri Estate
Irene Waller, who joined this historic Franschhoek Estate in 2010 as winemaker and general manager, is determined to sustain the sense of continuity and stability, since La Bri Estate’s renaissance began in 2006. Yet she has plans, some already underway, to tweak the Estate’s evolving status as one of the Franschhoek Valley’s rising stars.
Irene elaborates, “Winning The Best Merlot Trophy with our 2010 Merlot at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show is a clear message that we are on the right track with our philosophy of making signature-styled wines, created with passion. While respecting the Estate’s historic past, we want to instil in our many customers a sense of confidence that they can depend on the quality and integrity of La Bri Estate wines. Our immediate plans involve restructuring vineyard management practices and a vineyard renewal programme.”

The La Bri wines are beautifully packaged, with eye-catching labels featuring Cape flowers and herbs. Each of the wines is linked to a specific flower that symbolises the characteristics of the respective wine. These unique labels reflect the elegant style of wine that La Bri produce, the ambience of the Estate, and acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between wine and fynbos, amidst which most of these Cape flowers flourish. La Bri’s current vintages include:

La Bri Chardonnay 2011, with Clivia miniata (Yellow Clivia) on the label, explodes with lemon and lime aromas with subtle almond undertones. It has a zippy entry with refreshing lemon lime fruit, and underlying naartjie flavours on the palate complemented by balanced crisp acidity, integrated oak and a creamy elegant finish.

La Bri Viognier 2011, with Ixia viridiflora (Green Ixia) on the label, has an elegant nose of crisp apples, guava and apricot with subtle almond undertones, a fresh, crisp entry with hints of apricot on the mid-palate, and a creamy, elegant finish.

La Bri Merlot 2010, with Amaryllis belladonna (March Lily) on the label, displays aromas of mixed berry compote and dark cherries layered with dried herbs. Juicy and rich with elegant integrated tannins, this wine is eminently soft and approachable.

La Bri Syrah 2009, with Herbae (Herbs) on the label, includes a dash of Viognier (4%) which was picked together with, and co-fermented with the Shiraz. It entices with aromas of liquorice, violets, cloves and herbs. The entry is silky and soft followed by a glossy texture on the palate that combines flavours of cinnamon, white pepper and spice, with rich lingering fruit on the finish.

La Bri Affinity 2009, with Geissorhiza radians (Wine Cup) on the label, is a Bordeaux-style blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. It reveals black cherries, cassis and cloves on the nose, and is full bodied, succulent and approachable with firm but elegantly integrated tannins.

La Bri Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, with Watsonia alba (White Watsonia) on the label, has a prominent nose of black cherries, blueberries and dark chocolate and a juicy palate full of deliciously dark fruit, blackcurrants and a hint of mint freshness. Firm but elegant tannins integrate seamlessly resulting in a lingering creamy finish.

All the La Bri wines are available in numerous restaurants and some leading specialist wine shops country-wide, and retail nationally between R85 and R95, except the Viognier which is only available at the farm, for R100.

Visitors to La Bri Estate will find it a small, quiet and very beautiful place, offering some interesting choices for relaxed enjoyment, including soaking up the Estate’s unique history, strolling through the beautiful gardens where the flowers and herbs depicted on their labels are grown, wine tasting on the tasting room balcony with a breathtaking view of vineyards and towering mountains, riverside picnics and biking trails and more.

This beautiful Estate was originally part of one of the first farms granted in the Valley. 

The tasting room is open six days a week. Viewings of the cellar are by appointment or a self-walk tour is available, and a door-to-door delivery service is offered. 

Tel: +27 21 876 2593 • Email: • Website:
La Bri Estate
La Bri Estate

more news