Great wines from a young winery!

Article by Victor Ledermann


After years as a writer for various wine magazines and as a copywriter for the Swissair wine list, he now has a different professional orientation, but is still a passionate wine enthusiast. Victor Ledermann is completely economically independent and clearly communicates where the wines and information come from. He writes all texts and recommendations out of inner conviction and enjoyment of wine, without any commercial intentions. This refreshingly different approach makes his blog particularly authentic.

Remarkable winery

Only founded in 2015, “Thistle and Weed” now produces great wines: fresh, lively, dense and profound. This South African winery is one to remember! – says Victor Ledermann.

The name “Thistle and Weed” stands for the fact that the vine is tough and is not bothered by weeds or thistles. According to Ledermann, the winery favours a careful approach to nature and produces its Cabernet Franc biodynamically, for example. Weeds are not seen as an enemy here, which makes the name “thistle and weed” more appropriate.

The owners: Etienne Terblanche and Stephanie Wiid

Etienne is the winemaker, Stephanie the oenologist, who is also responsible for winemaking at “Draaiboek” in Hemel & Aarde. Both partners have first-class qualifications, and Stephanie has wine in her blood, so to speak – her grandfather Niel Joubert became a wine legend in South Africa with the Spier winery and the establishment of the Stellenbosch Wineroute.

Chenin Blanc by Thistle and Weed

An earlier tasting of various Chenin Blanc confirmed to Victor Ledermann what the “Duwweltjie” (Devil’s Thorn) had already led him to assume: the “Springdooring” (prickly pear) and “Brandnetel” (this Afrikaans is also understood in German, nettle in English) are also grandiose and independent wines! Each wine bears its own signature, typical of Chenin Blanc, but each in its own unique way. The unifying element in all the wines is a marvellous freshness and a great density.

Brilliant assemblages with unusual varieties

The blends are magnificent and stand out due to their unusual varieties. The white Khakibos (Tagetes minuta) consists of Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Palomino, Alvarinho and Fernão Pires. This Iberian-influenced combination produces a wonderful wine that is one of the world’s great white wines. The red Nastergal (black nightshade) uses almost exclusively Iberian varieties: Tempranillo, Alicante Bouschet, Tinta Francisca, Touriga Nacional and Souzao, supplemented by some Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is also great and shows the high art of blending at Thistle and Weed.

Tasting notes by Victor Ledermann

Killer Deal >6 bottles
Khakibos White – 2021
CHF 19.90 instead of 29.90

Medium yellow colour; very complex citrus fruit, scent of jasmine and freshly cut grass, despite ageing in used wood a beautiful, subtle hint of new-appearing wood; pronounced freshness in the mouth, very dense, superbly integrated acidity, very long, fruit-driven finish. Great, touching wine that cannot be categorised, but if you imagine something between a very good Burgundy and a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you are not completely wrong. 18 points.

Killer Deal >6 bottles
Springdoring – 2020
CHF 17.90 instead of 29.90

Pale yellow colour; very fine, multi-layered fruit (including mirabelle plums, white currants), mineral note; minerality and freshness continue in the mouth, very dense, beautiful acidity, seems as if there is some tannin present; fresh and crisp, but at the same time sophisticated wine. 17.5 points

Killer Deal >6 bottles
Brandnetel Chenin Blanc – 2020
CHF 19.90 instead of 29.90

Pale yellow; very fruity with orange melon and white peach, slightly peppery, some wood noticeable; dense and gripping in the mouth, very fresh, nice acidity, minimal, nice bitter touch; powerful and at the same time elegant, the wood is also restrained and nicely noticeable in the mouth. A great wine! 18 points.

Top Sale
Nastergal Red – 2020
CHF 19.90 instead of 29.90

Medium purple colour; dark fruits (blackberries, jostaberries), spicy (thyme and pepper, among others), hint of leather; wonderful freshness, juicy and fruity, beautiful acidity, lots of very fine tannins, elegant with simultaneous, rather restrained power, long finish. A real stunner! 17.5 points.

Thistle and weed is a must

Since travelling to South Africa in 2002, Victor Ledermann has been an enthusiastic fan of the country, even if he is concerned about some developments. However, he is pleased with the progress made in viticulture. Even back then, the wines were extremely good, and South Africa has now grown into a truly great wine country across the board. There are always newcomers like Thistle and Weed who are doing great things. The winery totally won him over, and if he makes it to South Africa again, a visit to Thistle and Weed in Paarl will definitely be a must!

All prices in CHF incl. VAT. Daily price from 09.07.2024.
Offers valid while stocks last. Errors and price changes are subject to change.