Greystone Sheep

Greystone sustainability reaches new heights

Greystone Winery, a trailblazer in organic wine production, celebrates a significant milestone in its quest to redefine sustainability. Following three years of pioneering work, Greystone is proud to announce the expansion of its innovative ‘High Wire’ trellising system, to over 25% of its vineyard. The High Wire project represents Greystone’s commitment to innovation and organic regenerative farming. Through meticulous testing and refinement, the winery aims to reshape traditional New Zealand viticulture practices.

Mike Saunders, Viticulturist at Greystone Winery, reflects on the journey: “Our decision to trial the High Wire system and integrate year-round sheep grazing stemmed from several key objectives. We aimed to reduce our environmental impact by minimizing tractor usage and diesel consumption, thereby lowering our carbon footprint. Additionally, we sought to improve soil health, optimize viticultural outcomes, and enhance the resilience of our business.”

The success of the trial period has empowered Greystone to scale up this ground-breaking approach, as Saunders explains: “The integration of sheep grazing into our vineyard, along with the promotion of biodiversity, has enriched our vines in profound ways. Grazing behaviours contribute to efficient nutrient cycling, nurturing strong, resilient vines and root systems.”

Dom Maxwell, Greystone’s Winemaker, highlights the impact on wine quality: “As our vines mature and coupled with this holistic approach, we’re witnessing wines that are more expressive, complex, and balanced.” Nick Gill, Greystone’s General Manager, emphasizes the winery’s commitment to continuous innovation: “Expanding the High Wire system underscores our dedication to regenerative organic farming and sustainable vineyard management. Our approach extends beyond viticulture; we proudly feature vineyard-raised lambs on our restaurant menu, contributing to a more eco-conscious future and additional revenue streams.”

Stephen McGowan, Greystone Sales, and Marketing Manager underscores the importance of transparency: “As consumer preferences evolve, Greystone aims to lead the way in environmental stewardship. Our dedication to regenerative organic farming resonates with consumers seeking healthier and sustainable choices.”

Over the past three years, Greystone has achieved remarkable milestones:
• 50% reduction in carbon emissions through minimized tractor usage and natural weed control by sheep.
• Enhanced soil health and structure through minimal tillage farming.
• Increased biodiversity and natural pest control with multi-species pastures.
• Improved grape quality and complexity due to enhanced vine health and soil nutrient richness.

The integration of sheep grazing into the vineyard has played a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting soil health. This innovative approach aligns with Greystone’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

Paul Cluver

In the news… Paul Cluver Estate GLOBAL MASTERS CHARDONNAYS

Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2021 & 2020

  • Producer: Paul Cluver Wines
  • Region: Elgin, Western Cape
  • Country: South Africa
  • Abv: 13%
  • Vintage: 2021
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Medal: Gold

Fourth generation winegrowers based in Elgin, Paul Cluver Family Wines continues the vision of patriarch Dr. Paul Cluver, producing exceptional, long-lived wines from their own vineyards. This estate Chardonnay is medium lemon-yellow in hue, showing ripe orchard fruits with cream, butter and gentle toasty oak. Quince and pineapple come through on the rounded palate supported by brisk acidity. Quite full-bodied, the wine has a long sappy, savoury finish. Perfect for grilled swordfish steaks with fresh herb butter.(Patricia Stefanowicz MW)

  • Producer: Paul Cluver Wines
  • Region: Elgin, Western Cape
  • Country: South Africa
  • Abv: 13%
  • Vintage: 2020
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Medal: Gold

Elgin is nestled among the Hottentots-Holland Mountains near to the oceans with exposure to the cool breezes from the south, and so the region produces cool climate wines. This Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay shows extra complexity due to an additional year of ageing in bottle. Yet, the wine is surprisingly youthful with a pale lemon-green colour and delicate green fruits, white flower and lifted vanilla pod and brioche. Light-bodied, the palate has racy acidity, excellent definition and a delicate touch of spice on the long finish. Perfect with Dover sole or Oysters Rockefeller where the wine’s zingy acidity plays the high notes and the gentle smoky oak the low notes.

(Patricia Stefanowicz MW)

bird in hand news

Bird in Hand – more media clips

SO’s Drinks Editor James Viner picks his top ten of finest festive tipples to get the party started…

and at No 2.

2022 Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir, Australia 

Nab this smart, appetising, generously discounted, red-fruited, pale, blush pink South Australian aperitif-style sparkling hit. It gives you a lot of bang for your buck and is good value even at the full price. A perfect celebratory foil for smoked salmon and turkey sandwiches.

Suzy Atkin writes to Delicious magazine:

Be adventurous
Bird in Hand Sparkling 2022, South Australia 12.5%

This pale pink bubbly is made in the same method as champagne. Fresh strawberries and rich layers of cream jump from the glass with plenty of bubbles.

Jancis Robinson writes in her weekly Purple Pages:

Bird in Hand, Sparkling 2023 Australia
A simple, pretty, off-dry Pinot-based fizz at a good price.

 

bird in hand news

Bird in Hand wows the fashion industry

Bird’s the word: the Aussie wine is a hit with the fashion crowd (Bird In Hand)

A tumbledown farmhouse might seem an unlikely birthplace for a wine known now for its place among artists and A-listers, but that’s how it started for Bird In Hand, when in 1997 founders Andrew and Susie Nugent bought a crumbling building in the Adelaide Hills of southern Australia. A dairy farm with salt rot already setting in, it was old but it was right: the north-facing hills rich with nutrients, the water good.

The Nugents still live there, only now there are five of them: Lalla, Edward and Oscar with their parents. With the cattle gone, the land was planted with pinot noir, shiraz, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay; the first vintage came in 2001. Life was good. And that, the Nugents explain, is the basic philosophy behind the brand: wine makes life a little better, and life makes wine a little better. Family life, yes, but life when it’s full with philosophy, culture, creativity, art. Art especially.

(Dave Benett/Getty Images)

“We have a love of art in its fullest sense,” Andrew Nugent says. “Wine, food, music, design. Nothing surpasses the… the fusion and creative energy that results from multiple disciplines coming together, combining in unison.”Which is how, in a roundabout way, Bird In Hand has ended up being a hit with of the likes of Liv Tyler (“I just adore [it]. My favourite is the syrah — it’s become an absolute staple at my table”) and Brooke Shields (“Their kindness really shines through in their amazing vineyard — a favourite is the Nest Egg chardonnay.”). Because the Nugents love their wine, but are driven by something else, too. What? “The constant search for creative inspiration,” says Andrew. “And the delight in sharing elevated moments.”This desire to share is what’s driven the family to build what they dub “creative partnerships” with the likes of the National Portrait Gallery, Clapham’s Studio Voltaire and even the Standard’s own Theatre Awards. There are more at home — the National Gallery of Australia being perhaps the biggest, though the brand has also long worked with indigenous Australian art collaborative the APY Collective (supporting the indigenous population is a keystone for the brand: “To be able to celebrate and learn from more than 65,000 years of Australian culture… is hard to surpass.”).

(Helen Abraham Photography)

But why should cultural relationships matter to a wine brand? “They matter if there’s love and creativity at their core,” Andrew explains. “Then they result in the shared moments of fun, joy and artistic expression. They become valuable to us personally.” That personal value is clear, as it’s driven the Nugents to move their wine into music, theatre, and performance. “Liam Gallagher created a special moment,” Andrew says, perhaps knowingly, but at exclusive suppers and awards and on red carpets, other friends have been made — think Naomi Watts, David and Victoria Beckham, Cindy Crawford, Alexa Chung. Clearly, the combination of a shared philosophy and first-rate wine is a potent one. These connections help keep the brand’s profile high, which in turn helps the Bird in Hand foundation, 10 next year. It’s one foundation that supports 11 others — some beneficiaries are culturally-tuned, but others help seriously ill children, the blind, refugees, another sponsors school scholarships. The next time there’s a red carpet, a gallery launch, or a high-profile concert, there may also be Bird in Hand. It’s all a long way from that tumbledown farmhouse.

RV Logo

Rust en Vrede – a great place to visit

Rust en Vrede, situated within a historic Cape Dutch cellar on a wine estate in the foothills of the Helderberg, offers a quintessential winelands dining experience. The restaurant, surrounded by oak trees and vineyards, has been serving guests since 2007 under the leadership of head chef Fabio Daniel. Chef Fabio’s contemporary French cuisine, influenced by his Brazilian and Italian heritage, is crafted from fresh seasonal products with a focus on the age and quality of the beef and venison.

Rust en Vrede is not only known for its exceptional food and wine but also for its rich history in winemaking, dating back over 300 years at its Stellenbosch estate. The estate is particularly noted for its robust red wines. Visitors consistently praise the outstanding quality of both food and service, with wine tastings being a highlight of the experience.

The estate’s location adds to its charm, making it a recommended destination. While dining options are focused on salmon or steak, the dishes, especially the fillet, receive high acclaim for their quality. The wine pairings are considered good value, contributing to a fine dining experience that makes Rust en Vrede a top choice for those seeking a delightful afternoon in the winelands with family and friends. Additionally, guests are encouraged to try the estate’s brandy, rounding off what is invariably described as an amazing visit.

Gateway Magazine Posted on 6 December 2023

For full article please click here

Wine Spectator Magazine rates recent releases from Mollydooker

Australia Tasting Report – Wine Spectator December 2023

Australia’s signature labels continue to play a key role in maintaining the country’s reputation for quality. Bottlings from Mollydooker consistently top the leader board—and for good reason. These estates all make compelling wines, and their scores perennially reflect that. Whether single-vineyard expressions or regional blends, the wines from these leading producers represent the best of what Australia has to offer.

Gigglepot 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon 90 pts
A ripe, generous expression of Cabernet, with blackberry cobbler, vanilla cream, fresh violet and blueberry preserves on a lush, creamy frame, plus accents of mocha. Reveals spice, cedar and additional chocolaty notes on the finish. Drink now.

Maitre’ D 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon 90 pts
A fragrant red, featuring notes of tobacco, oud, palo santo and violet, while hints of eucalyptus and iodine complement the blackberry and blueberry syrup flavors and dense, toothsome tannins.
Drink now through 2036

Velvet Glove 2020 Shiraz 95 pts
Rich and opulent, with notes of chocolate cake, framboise, salted toffee and espresso, along with more savoury details of toasted cumin, rosemary and cedar. A hint of fresh spearmint and shavings of bittersweet chocolate linger on the long, velvety finish. Drink now through 2034.

Carnival of Love 2021 Shiraz 93 pts
This stylish and distinctive red is decidedly ripe, with notes of cherry and berry preserves at the core, accented by spearmint, menthol, spicy clove and cardamom hints that add complexity and aromatics. A chocolaty note gains momentum, as does a touch of sandalwood on the long, expressive finish. Drink now.

Blue Eyed Boy 2021 Shiraz 92 pts
Dense and generous, with ripe black cherry, raspberry and blueberry preserves, accents of espresso and bittersweet chocolate, plus hints of palo santo and spices on the lush, juicy finish. Drink now through 2032.

Enchanted Path 2021 Shiraz, Cabernet 92 pts
Dense and firm, with notes of graphite, black liquorice and fresh-cracked black pepper, along with cedar, tobacco and spices. Delivers ripe, concentrated dried blueberry, plum and cassis flavours, showing plenty of restraint on the black tea–laced finish. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2038.

Two Left Feet 2021 Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot 92 pts
Appealing for its generosity and precision, with berry and cherry flavours that have a ripe, candied edge, showing hints of peppermint, mocha and Saigon cinnamon that add aromatics and complexity. The tannins are dense but polished, leaving a velvety impression. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now.

Boxer 2021 Shiraz 91 pts
Plush and polished, with ripe notes of maraschino cherry, milk chocolate and raspberry pre serves. Details of cinnamon, spicy tobacco and cumin add aromatic interest, with a lingering thread of toasted herbs. Drink now through 2029.

Despite the trials the country has faced, quality Australian wines remain widely available stateside. The country’s producers offer both benchmark styles and innovative expressions, all while maintaining a commitment to sustainable practices. The hope is that wine fans around the world are paying attention, because Australian wines are more than living up to their promise.

Bottle of Cap Classique

CAP CLASSIQUE South Africa’s success story

Decanter Magazine publishes an excellent article on Cap Classique, which in recent years has been one of South Africa’s fastest-growing wine categories

Traditional-method sparkling wine from South Africa, known as Cap Classique, has transformed itself. Both established and emerging producers now represent an effervescent, dynamic and ambitious sparkling wine scene that pulls every register in the vineyard and cellar to deliver quality. At long last, the best of these wines (including Sparkling Chenin Blanc from DeMorgenzon) are making it to our shores ready to make you sit up and take notice. Read this excellent article from Decanter Magazine

Decanter World Wine Awards 2023 logo

Decanter World Wine Awards 2023

Platinum Award

2018 Rust en Vrede 1694 Classification  97 points

Gold Medals

2021 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay  95 points
2021 Paul Cluver NLH Riesling  95 points
2022 Rustenberg Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 95 points
2017 Ernie Els Signature  95 points

Silver medals

2021 Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir  93 points
2021 Bouchard Finlayson Croc’s Lair  91 points
2022 Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chard  93 points
2021 Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique  92 points
2022 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay  90 points
2022 Paul Cluver Sauv Blanc  90 points
2020 Paul Cluver Chardonnay  90 points
2018 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir  92 points
2018 Glenelly Lady May  92 points
2016 Glenelly Estate Red  91 points
2020 Glenelly GC Syrah 91 points
2021 Rustenberg John X Merriman  92 points
2022 Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc  92 points
2022 Rustenberg Chardonnay  92 points
2021 Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chard  94 points
2020 Rustenberg Peter Barlow  91 points
2022 Rustenberg Grenache Blanc  92 points
2020 Rust en Vrede Estate wine  91 points
2021 Rust en Vrede Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 91 points
2022 Donkiesbaai Steen  93 points
2021 Stellenbosch Reserve Vanderstel  90 points
2022 Stellenbosch Reserve Chardonnay  90 points
2015 Trentham Estate Noble Taminga  91 points
2019 DeMorgenzon Reserve Syrah  91 points
2020 DeMorgenzon Maestro white  90 points
2018 Ernie Els Proprietors Blend  92 points
2021 Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend  90 points
2022 Kirrihill regional Riesling  91 points
2022 Capel Vale Debut Malbec  91 points
2022 Capel Vale Regional Riesling  94 points
2019 Golden Amrita Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz  90 points

Bronze medals

Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2020
Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir 2021
Paul Cluver Pinot Noir 2021
Glenelly Estate Chardonnay 2021
Rustenberg Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay 2022
Rustenberg Malbec 2021
Rustenberg RM Nicholson 2021
Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
Rustenberg Fortified Old Vine Muscat of Alexandria 2021
Rust en Vrede Estate wine 2019
Donkiesbaai Donkiesbaai Grenache Noir 2021
Stellenbosch Reserve Cab Sauv 2021
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2020
DeMorgenzon Reserve chenin 2020
DeMorgenzon Maestro Blue 2019
Kirrihill regional Shiraz 2021

Vintage Report from Paul Cluver Wines

2023 Vintage report from Paul Cluver Wines, Elgin, South Africa

“The unexpected rainfall experienced in Elgin and throughout the Cape this year, seldom seen in our summer, gave me practical insight into what Burgundy goes through during harvest in terms of its ever-changing array of climatic challenges.” says Andries Burger.

After a dry winter and growing season on Paul Clüver Estate in 2022, the vineyard growing season commenced with even bud-break, flowering and veraison in the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards, Paul Clüver’s flagship varieties.

“Being the coolest wine-growing region in South Africa, with steep diurnal temperature differences, our vines were healthy, disease-free and heading for even stages of ripening, predicting another quality vintage,” says Burger. “The 87mm of rain in December came at just the right time, refreshing the vines during their taxing growth stage and further cooling soils and air. Preventative spraying programmes had kept any thoughts of disease at bay, and expectations were looking to be excellent.”

Harvesting on Paul Clüver Family Wines commenced in mid-February, slightly earlier than last year, but with the first batches of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay showing Elgin’s characteristic firm acids and accurate superb ripeness, with the Pinot Noir drawing deep garnet colour during fermentation. About halfway through the harvest, the heavens opened in the first week of March. Unfortunately, some 43mm of rainfall was measured over three days, delaying picking. “Fortunately, the rain did not result in any major damage in the vineyards, and the bunches held firm as they waited for picking to re-commence. Once the rain stopped and harvesting got underway, we found that both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were ripe, but at lower sugar levels than average.”

Burger says that despite the lower sugar levels, the juice, fermenting grapes and just-fermented wines show extraordinary aromas. “It is as if the lower sugar allowed the fruit greater all round expression,” he says. “There is an enormous varietal character, vivid flavour compounds and structure showing the usual elegance our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is known for, but with regal backbone and a visceral structure.”
With further rainfall now predicted for later in March, Burger and his team managed to get the Paul Clüver vineyards harvested before the heavy rain that fell in the week of 20 March, which saw over 80mm pummelling down.

“Fortunately, we were all done and dusted by then,” says Burger. “The quality of the batches picked after the first March rains showed us that getting the grapes as soon as possible was the right call. With all fruit being hand-selected, any substandard berries were removed, underscoring our ethos of stringent quality control.” With some of the wines still undergoing spontaneous fermentation and the young wines now in the tank, foudre, barrel and concrete egg, we are pleased with the prospect of a great vintage in terms of wine quality. But I would be lying if I said that, with the amount of curveballs the summer rain gods sent our way, it was an easy harvest. On the contrary, it was challenging and nerve-wracking and showed that timing and decision-making are crucial during this most vital wine-making cycle.”

2023 awards from the International Wine Challenge

2023 awards from the International Wine Challenge

We are delighted to announce FOUR GOLD awards from International Wine Challenge with the Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021 winning the Trophy for best South African White wine and 2021 Greystone Chardonnay receiving multiple trophies, namely the Canterbury Chardonnay Trophy, New Zealand Chardonnay Trophy and best New Zealand White Trophy.

Gold medal wines in stock:

Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2021 – 95 points
Roses, lime, marmalade, beautiful poise and tension between high acid and high sugar, complex, touch of texture, great variety and long juicy finish

DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2019 – 95 points
A lovely rich ripe style full of ripe mango and tropical fruits. Less contact giving a nice creamy texture. Toasty notes.

…. and Silver medals including:

Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair Kaaimansgat Chardonnay   2021
Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal  2020
Glenelly Estate Reserve Red Blend  2016
Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir  2018
Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay 2022
Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay   2021
Rustenberg Fortified Old Vine Muscat of Alexandria  2021
Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay   2022
Rustenberg Stellenbosch Malbec  2021
Golden Amrita single Estate 2020

Bronze medals

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir  2021
Glenelly Estate Reserve Chardonnay  2021
Rustenberg John X Merriman  2021
Rustenberg Peter Barlow  2020
Rustenberg Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2022
Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga  2015
Kirrihill regional Riesling 2022
Golden Amrita single Estate  2019

CONGRATULATIONS to all our award winning producers

The 2023 vintage at Paul Cluver Wines

Trying Weather Conditions Result in Expressive Quality Vintage 2023 on Paul Clüver Family Wines

As a Burgundy acolyte, Andries Burger, winemaker and cellar master of Paul Clüver Family Wines in Elgin, found renewed respect for the vignerons of that famous French wine region with this year’s challenging weather conditions Paul Clüver Family Wines experienced during vintage 2023. “Burgundy is known for steep variations from vintage to vintage due to the erratic weather conditions that differ yearly in that part of the world,” says Andries Burger. “The unexpected rainfall experienced in Elgin and throughout the Cape this year, seldom seen in our summer, gave me practical insight into what Burgundy goes through during harvest in terms of its ever-changing array of climatic challenges.”

After a dry winter and growing season on Paul Clüver Estate in 2022, the vineyard growing season commenced with even bud-break, flowering and veraison in the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards, Paul Clüver’s flagship varieties.

 

“Being the coolest wine-growing region in South Africa, with steep diurnal temperature differences, our vines were healthy, disease-free and heading for even stages of ripening, predicting another quality vintage,” says Burger. “The 87mm of rain in December came at just the right time, refreshing the vines during their taxing growth stage and further cooling soils and air. Preventative spraying programmes had kept any thoughts of disease at bay, and expectations were looking to be excellent.”

Harvesting on Paul Clüver Family Wines commenced in mid-February, slightly earlier than last year, but with the first batches of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay showing Elgin’s characteristic firm acids and accurate superb ripeness, with the Pinot Noir drawing deep garnet colour during fermentation. About halfway through the harvest, the heavens opened in the first week of March. Unfortunately, some 43mm of rainfall was measured over three days, delaying picking. “Fortunately, the rain did not result in any major damage in the vineyards, and the bunches held firm as they waited for picking to re-commence. Once the rain stopped and harvesting got underway, we found that both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were ripe, but at lower sugar levels than average.”

Burger says that despite the lower sugar levels averaging between 21.5°B and 22.5°B, the juice, fermenting grapes and just-fermented wines show extraordinary aromas. “It is as if the lower sugar allowed the fruit greater all round expression,” he says. “There is an enormous varietal character, vivid flavour compounds and structure showing the usual elegance our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is known for, but with regal backbone and a visceral structure.”

With further rainfall now predicted for later in March, Burger and his team managed to get the Paul Clüver vineyards harvested before the heavy rain that fell in the week of 20 March, which saw over 80mm pummelling down.

“Fortunately, we were all done and dusted by then,” says Burger. “The quality of the batches picked after the first March rains showed us that getting the grapes as soon as possible was the right call. With all fruit being hand-selected, any substandard berries were removed, underscoring our ethos of stringent quality control.” With some of the wines still undergoing spontaneous fermentation and the young wines now in the tank, foudre, barrel and concrete egg, we are pleased with the prospect of a great vintage in terms of wine quality. But I would be lying if I said that, with the amount of curveballs the summer rain gods sent our way, it was an easy harvest. On the contrary, it was challenging and nerve-wracking and showed that timing and decision-making are crucial during this most vital wine-making cycle.”

Burger says one thing that has become noticeable in the vineyards of Paul Clüver Family Wines is the increase in bird activity. “Our programmes aimed at regenerative farming have resulted in a natural environment in the vineyards, with a lot of overall life,” he says. “This includes birds, who seem to fly in from far and wide to feast on ripening Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. As a result, we now cover the vines with nets to prevent them from clearing the bunches or damaging the fruit with an investigative peck.”

As far as this year’s yields on Paul Clüver Family Wines are concerned, tonnage is slightly down. However, in light of the wet trying conditions, this aligns with wine volumes we aim to release from an extraordinary vintage.”

London Wine Fair

London Wine Fair 15th – 17th May

We will be exhibiting at the London Wine Fair (15th – 17th May) Stand B60, Grand Hall, Olympia, Kensington.

Representatives from 11 of our wineries will be joining us to showcase their wines.  Please come to taste the wines and speak to our producers from…..

South Africa

Rustenberg, Stellenbosch  – Murray Barlow
Ernie Els, Stellenbosch  – Logan van Driel
Paul Cluver Wines, Elgin – Paul Cluver
Kanonkop, Stellenbosch  – Johan Krige & Deidre Taylor
DeMorgenzon, Stellenbosch  – Alastair Rimmer
Waterford Estate, Stellenbosch  – Chris Thomson

Also showing wines from Steenberg, Constantia

Australia & New Zealand

Golden Amrita, Barossa Valley – Didi Liu & Kym Milne
Kirrihill, Clare Valley – Matt Lawson
Bird in Hand, Adelaide Hills – Mashoom Tait

Also showing wines from Escarpment, Martinborough, New Zealand

 

For further details and to register your attendance, please visit London Wine Fair

 

Vintage report from Ernie Els

2023 Vintage report from Ernie Els Winery in Stellenbosch

The wine industry is a vital part of the South African economy – a source of national pride – and the quality of each year’s yield is closely watched by industry experts and wine enthusiasts alike. As the 2023 harvest season draws to a close, it is an opportune time to reflect on the conditions and factors that have affected this year’s crop. To read the full report click here

 

 

 

 

Tim Atkin wine

Tim Atkin MW – South Africa Special Report 2022

Highlights as follows:

South Africa Hall of Fame

Best Value White of the Year – 2021 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay, Elgin
“The kind of wine whose quality makes you do a double take when you look at the price [.. ]
 this is a Chardonnay that could trick experienced professionals in a blind tasting.
Tank, foudre and stainless steel fermented, it’s a mini Puligny-Montrachet with yeasty
complexity and a citrus and wet stone core”.

Co-operative / Producers’ Cellar of the Year 2022 Darling Cellars

Best Cellar Door Experience 2021 (includes finalist) Waterford Estate, Stellenbosch

 

Wines of the Year

2019 Kanonkop Paul Sauer, Stellenbosch – 98 pts
2018 Glenelly Lady May, Stellenbosch – 97 pts
2017 Waterford Estate The Jem, Stellenbosch – 97 pts
2021 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay, Elgin – 96 pts
2020 Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage, Stellenbosch – 96 pts
2020 DeMorgenzon Syrah Reserve, Stellenbosch – 96 pts
2021 Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Riesling, Elgin – 96 pts
2021 Catherine Marshall Chenin Blanc Fermented In Clay, Western Cape – 95 pts
2021 Kaapzicht The 1947 Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch – 95 pts
2018 Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch – 95 pts
2019 Rustenberg Peter Barlow, Stellenbosch- 95 pts
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley – 95 pts
2021 Catherine Marshall Finite Elements Pinot Noir, Cape South Coast – 95 pts
2018 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir, Elgin – 95 pts

The best of the rest…..

Waterford Antigo Stellenbosch 2019 Red 91
Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2018 Red 94
Waterford Estate Kevin Arnold Shiraz Stellenbosch 2018 Red 93
Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2019 White 92
Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Grenache Noir Stellenbosch 2020 Red 93
Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Grenache Noir Stellenbosch 2019 Red 92

Steenberg The Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc Constantia 2021 White 92

Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2021 White 90
Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2020 White 93
Rustenberg John X Merriman Stellenbosch 2020 Red 93
Rustenberg Malbec Stellenbosch 2020 Red 90
Rustenberg Old Vine Muscat of Alexandria Calitzdorp 2021 Fortified 91
Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2021 White 90

Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay Elgin 2021 White 93
Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir Elgin 2021 Red 93
Paul Cluver Estate Riesling Elgin 2022 White 93
Paul Cluver Estate Riesling Elgin 2021 White 93
Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc Elgin 2022 White 92
Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc Elgin 2021 White 91
Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay Elgin 2021 White 93

Lemberg Spencer Tulbagh 2018 Red 92
Lemberg Hárslevelü Tulbagh 2021 White 93
Lemberg Nelson Tulbagh 2018 Red 91

Kaapzicht Kliprug OVP Chenin Blan Stellenbosch 2021 White 92
Kaapzicht Rooiland Pinotage Stellenbosch 2020 Red 92
Kaapzicht Skraalhans OVP Pinotage Stellenbosch 2021 Red 90
Kaapzicht Steytler Pentagon Stellenbosch 2020 Red 93
Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage Stellenbosch 2020 Red 92
Kaapzicht Steytler Vision Stellenbosch 2020 Red 93

Kanonkop Kadette Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2020 Red 92
Kanonkop Kadette Cape Blend Stellenbosch 2020 Red 91
Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage Stellenbosch 2020 Red 92
Kanonkop Pinotage Stellenbosch 2020 Red 94

Glenelly Estate Chardonnay Reserve Stellenbosch 2021 White 92
Glenelly Estate Reserve Red Stellenbosch 2017 Red 94
Glenelly The Glass Collection Cabernet Franc Stellenbosch 2020 Red 93
Glenelly The Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2020 Red 93
Glenelly The Glass Collection Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2021 White 90
Glenelly The Glass Collection Merlot Stellenbosch 2020 Red 92
Glenelly The Glass Collection Syrah Stellenbosch 2020 Red 91

DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve Stellenbosch 2021 White 94
DeMorgenzon DMZ Chardonnay Stellenbosch 2021 White 91
DeMorgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2021 White 90
DeMorgenzon DMZ Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch 2022 White 90
DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah Stellenbosch 2020 Red 91
DeMorgenzon Maestro Blue Stellenbosch 2019 Red 94
DeMorgenzon Maestro White Stellenbosch 2020 White 93
DeMorgenzon MCC Stellenbosch 2019 Sparkling 91
DeMorgenzon Syrah Reserve Stellenbosch 2020 Red 96

Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Chenin Blanc Darling 2021 White 91
Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Cinsault Darling 2020 Red 91
Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Cinsault Rosé Darling 2021 Rosé 90

Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Clay Soils Cape South Coast 2020 Red 94
Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Sandstone Elgin 2020 Red 94
Catherine Marshall Riesling Elgin 2021 White 91

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2020 Red 92
Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2019 Red 93
Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Chardonnay Elandskloof 2020 White 93
Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2021 White 93
Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2020 Red 95

Low Alcohol wine with canapés

IWSC Low Alcohol Category

De-alcoholised Rose – Gold medal 96 pts & Low Alcohol (under 1.2%) Trophy

De-alcoholised Red – Silver medal 94 pts

De-alcoholised Sparkling Rose – Silver medal 90 pts

De-alcoholised White – Silver medal 90 pts

Wine tasting at Kirrihill

Kirrihill – Read all about it

2022 Q & A with Alexandra Wardlaw, Winemaker at Kirrihill

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
From the Champagne region, a small town called Villenauxe-la Grande. I studied winemaking for 4 years in Avize, a beautiful little town in the Cotes des Blancs.
WHEN DID YOU ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA?
January 2018. I originally planned on staying for just one vintage at Kirrihill, so not much in the suitcase. 4.5 years later, I’m still here!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE KIRRIHILL?
For its renowned cool climate Riesling as well as its proximity to the Yorke Peninsula and Adelaide. Our beautiful little Clare Valley is the perfect spot to enjoy a vintage coming from overseas and discover all things South Australia.
HOW MANY VINTAGES AT KIRRIHILL?
Vintage 2022 was my 5th with Kirrihill and my 3rd in a winemaking role.
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT CLARE?
Firstly, I love Clare because this is where I met my husband Sam, we actually met at Kirrihill! We have a one-year-old son named Oliver. I decided to start a family in Clare because this region represents everything I value, a strong and dynamic local community, innovative and humble winemakers. It’s one big family and it makes up for being away from mine in France.
ALEXANDRA’S ASPIRATIONS
I’m passionate about developing my skills to become a wine show judge. This is the best way to get to know more about all aspects of Australian wine and be involved in the wine community.

Looking ahead – a review of the 2022 vintage at Kirrihill

SEASON
We were blessed with almost perfect ripening conditions in Clare throughout spring and summer. Good rainfall and cool weather allowed our grapes to ripen in a consistent manner leading to stunning levels of acidity and optimum maturity in our Riesling and reds. The moderate temperatures in January and February resulted in a slight delay in picking, but this allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and gently, producing premium fruit for our winemakers to showcase their skill and expertise.
HARVEST
We harvested our Clare Riesling two weeks later than normal, with picking commencing on the 1st of March and by the 15th of March, all the Riesling was in tank and happily fermenting. We are delighted by the depth of colour in our 2022 reds which are now almost through malolactic fermentation. This year we had access to grape varieties including Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Malbec and Grenache, an exciting range for our winemakers and vintage staff.
SOURCE
Over the 2022 vintage, we worked with varieties and techniques new to the Kirrihill stable, a perfect opportunity for our winemakers to use their skill, flair and have some fun. With the addition of small batches, including a parcel of Grenache from Clare, whole bunch fermentation of Grenache from the Barossa and hand selected Shiraz from our iconic Schobers vineyard, we are excited about the wines the 2022 vintage will deliver.
THE TEAM
It’s been a cracker of a vintage for the Kirrihill team and we couldn’t have done it without our brilliant vintage staff that joined us locally and from interstate. Despite challenges presented by covid travel restrictions, we were delighted to also have a strong international contingent joining us from Canada, France, South Africa and China.
THE WINES
Our wines already look amazing, reflecting Clare characteristics. The Riesling is pristine and limey with an appealing acid drive. The Shiraz has depth and texture with lovely red fruits and spices, the Cabernet shows blue fruit characteristics, is well balanced and has a lovely bright fruit spectrum. With the variation in conditions of each vintage, changing flavour profiles present the team with an opportunity to work with beautiful fruit, innovate and to create something special, that we know you will love to drink and share.

 

For more information about Kirrihill , please visit their website

 

 

International Wine and Spirit Competition 2022

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2022

Gold Medals
Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2019  95pts
Kanonkop Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  95pts

Silver Medals
Steenberg Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc 2021  90pts
Rustenberg Chardonnay 2021  94pts
Glenelly Lady May 2017  92pts
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2020  92pts
Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2020  91pts
Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2020  91pts
Darling Cellars Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2021  90pts
Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2019  90pts

Bronze Medals
Rustenberg Muscat Blanc 2021
Bouchard Finlayson Blanc De Mer 2020
Rustenberg John X Merriman 2020
Rustenberg Malbec 2020
Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Cinsaut 2019
Kaapzicht Estate Rooiland Pinotage 2020
Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2020
Rustenberg Fortified Old Vine Muscat Of Alexandria 2021
Glenelly Lady May 2016
Bouchard Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Kaapzicht Estate Skemerlig Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Bouchard Finlayson Tête De Cuvée Pinot Noir 2020
Trentham Estate Reserve Blanc De Blancs Brut NV
Trentham Estate The Family Nebbiolo 2021
Trentham Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2018
Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga 2015
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2019
Greystone Wines Organic Pinot Noir 2019

Not all vintages above are available yet

Decanter World Wine Awards

Results are in from the Decanter World Wine Awards 22

Our top scoring wines from this years DWWA competition were:

Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2020 -Platinum 97 pts
Rust en Vrede 1694 Classification 2017  – Gold 95 pts
Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2020  – Gold 95 pts
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2019 Gold  – 95 pts

 

Followed by a whole host of Silver medals:

Bouchard Finlayson Tête De Cuvée Pinot Noir 2020 Silver 91
Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay 2020 Silver 92
Bouchard Finlayson Blanc De Mer 2020 Silver 90
Donkiesbaai Suiderkruis 2019 Silver 93
Donkiesbaai Steen 2021 Silver 91
Ernie Els Signature 2016 Silver 90
Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 2020 Silver 94
Greystone Wines Organic Pinot Noir 2019 Silver 92
Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay 2021 Silver 94
Paul Cluver Estate Riesling 2021 Silver 91
Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir 2018 Silver 91
Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Silver 91
Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2019 Silver 91
Rust en Vrede Estate 2018 Silver 90
Rust en Vrede Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Silver 90
Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Silver 91
Rustenberg Chardonnay 2021 Silver 92
Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 Silver 90
The Stellenbosch Reserve Reserve Vanderstel 2020 Silver 90
Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga 2015 Silver 91
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Silver 92
Kanonkop Black label Pinotage 2019 Silver 93
Kaapzicht Rooiland Pinotage 2020 Silver 90
Steenberg Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Silver 90
Steenberg Catharina 2019 Silver 91
Kirrihill Regional Series Shiraz 2020 Silver 90
Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 2019 Silver 93
Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 2020 Silver 94
The Doctors’ Riesling 2021 Silver 90

and yet more Bronze awards scoring between 86 & 89 points:

Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Chardonnay 2020
Bouchard Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2020
Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2019
Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2020
Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Chenin Blanc 2020
Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Cinsaut Rosé 2021
Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir 2020
Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir 2020
Rustenberg Fortified Old Vine Muscat of Alexandria 2021
Rustenberg Chenin Blanc 2021
Rustenberg Malbec 2020
Rustenberg Fortified Muscat Blanc 2021
Rustenberg John X Merriman 2020
Stellenbosch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Stellenbosch Reserve Chardonnay 2021
Trentham Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2018
Trentham Estate Reserve Blanc De Blanc NV
Kirrihill Regional Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Kirrihill Regional Series Riesling 2021
The Doctors’ Pinot Noir 2020
The Doctors’ Sauvignon Blanc 2021

 

Not all vintages as above are available yet.

 

 

Wine from Tim Atkin

Chile Report from Tim Atkin MW

Two great scores of 92 points from Tim Atkin MW in his 2022 Chilean Report:

2021 Sumpai Sauvignon Blanc

A wine from the Atacama Desert sounds as if it ought to be hot and ripe, but this is no ordinary vineyard, or rather vineyards, since there are two parcels. Salty, tight and refreshing, it’s a Chilean Sancerre with mouth-watering acidity and a briny, nettley finish. Drink 2022-25

2020 Sumpai Syrah

Alejandro Galaz produces this sappy, intense Syrah from vines on Leyda’s second terrace, located on a mix of alluvial and granite soils. Taut and refreshing with very little oak influence and layers of raspberry and black cherry fruit supported by sinewy tannins. Drink 2023-27

 

 

 

2022 International Wine-Challenge Winners logo

Results in from the 2022 IWC

The following wines were awarded medals at this year’s IWC competition:

GOLD MEDALS

GOLD & TROPHY 2020 Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Pinot Noir – SA Red Trophy 95 pts (2020 vintage available Autumn 2022)
GOLD & TROPHY 2020 Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz – Barossa Valley Shiraz Trophy 95 pts
GOLD 2020 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 95 pts

SILVER MEDALS

2020 Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair Kaaimansgat Chardonnay 93 pts
2019 Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 93 pts *
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 91 pts
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Chardonnay 92 pts
2020 Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 90 pts
2019 Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 93 pts*
2019 Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 90 pts*
2020 Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir 90 pts*
2021 Paul Cluver Estate Riesling 90 pts*
2021 Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 90 pts*
2018 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir 92 pts
2021 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay 92 pts
2020 Rustenberg John X Merriman 91 pts*
2020 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 92pts
2018 Trentham Estate Reserve Chardonnay 92 pts*
2015 Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga 92 pts
2021 Capel Vale Mount Barker Riesling 90 pts
2020 Capel Vale Whispering Hill Riesling 90 pts

BRONZE MEDALS

2020 Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir*
2021 Bouchard Finlayson Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc*
2021 Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Chenin Blanc
2019 Greystone Organic Pinot Noir
2020 Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir*
2020 Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay*
2021 Rustenberg Fortified Muscat Blanc*
2021 Rustenberg Fortified Old Vine Muscat of Alexandria*
2019 Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon*
2021 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay*
2021 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc*
NV Trentham Estate Reserve Blanc de Blanc
2021 Doctors’ Rose
2021 Kaapzicht Bush Vine Chenin Blanc
2020 Capel Vale Regional Cabernet Sauvignon
2021 Capel Vale Regional Sauvignon Blanc

* Awarded vintage currently in stock.
Please contact the office on 01206 231188 for availability of other wines.

International Wine Challenge logo

2022 International Wine Challenge Winners

The following wines were awarded medals at this year’s IWC competition:

GOLD MEDALS

GOLD & TROPHY 2020 Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvee Pinot Noir – SA Red Trophy 95 pts (2020 vintage available Autumn 2022)
GOLD & TROPHY 2020 Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz – Barossa Valley Shiraz Trophy 95 pts
GOLD 2020 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 95 pts

SILVER MEDALS

2020 Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair Kaaimansgat Chardonnay 93 pts
2019 Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 93 pts *
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 91 pts
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Chardonnay 92 pts
2020 Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 90 pts
2019 Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 93 pts*
2019 Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 90 pts*
2020 Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir 90 pts*
2021 Paul Cluver Estate Riesling 90 pts*
2021 Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 90 pts*
2018 Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir 92 pts
2021 Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay 92 pts
2020 Rustenberg John X Merriman 91 pts*
2020 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 92pts
2018 Trentham Estate Reserve Chardonnay 92 pts*
2015 Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga 92 pts
2021 Capel Vale Mount Barker Riesling 90 pts
2020 Capel Vale Whispering Hill Riesling 90 pts

BRONZE MEDALS

2020 Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer
2020 Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir*
2021 Bouchard Finlayson Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc*
2021 Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Chenin Blanc
2019 Greystone Organic Pinot Noir
2020 Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir*
2020 Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay*
2021 Rustenberg Fortified Muscat Blanc*
2021 Rustenberg Fortified Old Vine Muscat of Alexandria*
2019 Rustenberg Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon*
2021 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay*
2021 Rustenberg Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc*
NV Trentham Estate Reserve Blanc de Blanc
2021 Doctors’ Rose
2021 Kaapzicht Bush Vine Chenin Blanc
2020 Capel Vale Regional Cabernet Sauvignon
2021 Capel Vale Regional Sauvignon Blanc

* Awarded vintage currently in stock.
Please contact the office on 01206 231188 for availability of other wines.

 

 

 

Golden Amrita logo

New additions to the Seckford portfolio

Seckford Agencies are delighted to represent both Golden Amrita and JJ Hahn, located in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.
Both wineries are collaborating with familiar friends of Seckford.  Kym Milne of Bird in Hand is the consultant winemaker for Golden Amrita and James & Jackie Hahn have teamed up with Rolf Binder to create the JJ Hahn label.

To view the wines on our site, please visit: Golden Amrita and JJ Hahn

5* Platter awards revealed

Seckford are delighted to announce the following wines have been awarded the highest accolade from the prestigious Platter South African Wine Guide:

Ernie Els Wines Signature 2015
Glenelly Estate Lady May 2017
Glenelly Estate Lady May 2016
Kaapzicht Wine Estate The 1947 2020
Kanonkop Estate Black Label 2019
Lemberg Wine Estate Lady 2020
Rustenberg Wines Five Soldiers 2019
Rust en Vrede Wine Estate 1694 Classification 2018
Rust en Vrede Wine Estate Single Vineyard 2018
Rust en Vrede Wine Estate 2018

To read more, please click here

 

 

Entrance to Tim Atkins winery

Tim Atkin’s South African report 2021

Eagerly awaited each year, Tim Atkin’s comprehensive South African Wine report is well worth the price of admission for any lover of SA wines. It contains a wealth of additional information besides the scores and awards.

Below is the line-up of impressive scores for our listed wineries:

 

Bouchard Finlayson – Third Growth

94 pts. Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Chardonnay 2019
Elandskloof (13.6%)
Kaaimansgat, also known as Elandskloof, is a superb vineyard for Chardonnay, typified by
the reliably impressive quality of this brilliant wine. Showing classic struck match aromas,
stony intensity, lemon butter flavours and the structure and minerality of the site. 2022-27

93 pts. Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2019
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (13.7%)
Missionvale all comes from Bouchard Finlayson’s vineyards in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
and is the broader and more concentrated of its two top Chardonnays. Honeyed, spicy and
textured, with fine oak and notes of pear and patisserie. 2022-27

96 pts. Bouchard Finlayson Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir 2019
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (13.9%)
I can’t remember tasting a better young Tête de Cuvée release than this, so berets off to
Chris Albrecht and Peter Finlayson. Scented, detailed and autumnal, with gamey sweetness,
forest floor top notes, fine texture, understated concentration and savoury tannins. 2022-29

92 pts. Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2019
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (13.7%)
Galpin Peak is the more approachable of the Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noirs in 2019 and is
designed that way. Aged in 30% new wood, this is sweet, floral and polished, with succulent
red berry fruit and more tannic backbone than you appreciate at first. Assured and well
balanced with rose petal top notes. 2021-26

 

Paul Cluver – Second Growth

95 pts. Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2020
Elgin (12.5%)
Back after a fire-induced break in 2019, this superb Chardonnay comes from the oldest vines
at Paul Cluver, planted in 1987. Structured, textured and layered, with Meursault-like levels
of concentration, flavours of waxed lemon and orange zest, subtle oak and an acid-driven
finish. 2022-28

93 pts – Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2020
Elgin (12.5%)
Wild fermented in one-third new wood, the estate Chardonnay comes from older vines and is
another very impressive iteration of the grape from the Paul Cluver team. Reflecting the cool
growing season, this is fresh and focused, with notes of cream and toast and palate-cleansing
acidity. 2021-25

93 pts – Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay 2020
Elgin (12.5%)
Andries Burger makes some of the best Chardonnays in the Cape, even at this entry-point
level. Amazing at the price, this is a South African Chablis style, with a touch of oak, pithy
acidity, flavours of citrus and crème fraîche and impressive palate length. 2021-27

92 pts – Paul Cluver Estate Riesling 2020
Elgin (12.4%)
The estate Riesling is made in a Halbtrocken style, with 16.4 grams of residual sugar
balanced by steely acidity. Lime and white peach flavours lead into a tangy, chiselled,
refreshing finish. Ludicrously cheap for a wine of this quality. 2022-27

91 pts- Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Elgin (12.4%)
Showing a lot more weight and intensity than most commercial Sauvignon Blancs, this is dry,
rich and nicely focused, with notes of elderflower and citrus, a nettley undertone and a leesy,
creamy mid palate. 2021-23

93 pts – Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir 2020
Elgin (13.25%)
A medley of Burgundian clones (113, 115, 667 and 777) supply the raw material for this
serious Pinot Noir, which is focused, savoury and well balanced, with dark cherry and wild
strawberry fruit, fine tannins and a patina of oak spice. A wine to cellar for a year or two.
2022-28

96 pts – Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2020
Elgin (12%)
Not produced every year, alas – the last release was the 2017 – this is a world-class sweet wine
from the Cluvers, with peach and nectarine fruit, underlying lime and lemon peel freshness
and a near-perfect balance between acidity and 146 grams of residual sugar. 2022-27

 

Darling Cellars – Cru Bourgeois

90 pts. Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines Chenin Blanc 2019
Darling (14.2%)
Low-yielding bush vines planted in the late 1970s supply the grapes for this intense, exotic
Darling Chenin Blanc. Rich leesy and creamy, with pineapple and stone fruit sweetness
supported by acidity and framed by subtle oak. 2021-24

 

DeMorgenzon – Second Growth

95 pts DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc Reserve 2020
Stellenbosch (14.1%)
The spicy vanilla and cinnamon is still a little assertive right now, but this is a very young
wine that’s designed to age in bottle. Focused and granitic, with chiselled acidity, fine oak,
floral top notes and crunchy apple and citrus fruit. One of Stellenbosch’s top Chenins.
2022-28

94 pts. DeMorgenzon Chardonnay Reserve 2020
Stellenbosch (13.5%)
Two south-facing blocks in the heart of the estate supply the fruit for this rich, layered,
assertively wooded young Chardonnay. Pear and melon fruit flavours are framed by spicy
30% new wood and segue into a fresh, tangy, saline finish. 2022-28

93 pts. DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2019
Stellenbosch (14%)
Boasting the highest ever Roussanne component, blended with 52% Chenin Blanc,
Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc, this is a complex, layered wine that
will reward patience. Floral, focused and harmonious with a savoury, herbal undertone and
flavours of lime, nectarine and lemon zest. 2022-27

91 pts DeMorgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc 2020
Stellenbosch (13.3%)
Given the quality of the top DeMorgenzon Chenins, it’s no surprise that this entry-point
bottling is so good. Made with purchased and estate grapes, it’s a lightly wooded, herbal
style with pear and citrus fruit and some stony grip. 2021-24

90 pts. DeMorgenzon DMZ Chardonnay 2020
Stellenbosch (13.8%)
The DMZ Chardonnay sees older wood, stainless steel, foudres and eggs, not because
of lack of space but because each adds something different. Crisp, focused and appealing,
with subtle baking spices, pear and lemongrass flavours. 2021-24

90 pts DeMorgenzon DMZ Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Stellenbosch (13.9%)
Part of the great value DMZ range, which often over-delivers in the glass, this is a juicy,
herbal, zesty Sauvignon Blanc with lime, grapefruit and wet stone flavours and subtle
minerality. 2021-23

93 pts DeMorgenzon Syrah Reserve 2019
Stellenbosch (14.4%)
Meaty, youthful and showing some of the reduction that Syrah can be prone to in its
first couple of years, this has lots of blood and guts, granitic intensity, fine oak and the
concentration to develop in bottle. 2024-29

91 pts. DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah 2019
Stellenbosch (14.2%)
Making the most of the warmer conditions in 2018, this is a peppery, layered, perfumed
Syrah with good structure, very little oak, some wild herbs and intense, grippy blackberry
fruit. 2022-26

91 pts DeMorgenzon Maestro Red 2019
Stellenbosch (14.3%)
Something of an outlier in the Rhône, Chenin and Chardonnay-focused DeMorgenzon range,
this is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based red with 37% Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Petite
Sirah. Serious, compact and sturdy with damson and blackberry fruit, some wild herbs and
bright, underpinning acidity. 2023-29

90 pts. DeMorgenzon DMZ Grenache Noir 2019
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
DeMorgenzon’s Grenache is planted in a warm, north-facing site and produces a firm,
savoury wine that delivers a lot of flavour for your money. Very light wooded with bramble
and red cherry flavour and granitic intensity. 2022-26

 

Ernie Els Wines – Cru Bourgeois

93 pts. Ernie Els Signature 2016
Stellenbosch (15%)
The flagship bottling from Ernie Els features all five Bordeaux grapes, with Cabernet
Sauvignon assisted by 40% Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Ripe and figgy,
with smooth tannins, toasty 70% new wood, liquorice and dried herbs and a firm finish.
2022-26

92 pts Ernie Els Proprietor’s Blend 2018
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
Big, bold and plush, this is a deftly oaked, well-judged assemblage from Louis Strydom,
featuring Cabernet Sauvignon with 40% Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and
Malbec. Smoky, textured and ripe with dark berry fruit and supporting tannins and acidity.
2022-28

90 pts Ernie Els Major Series Merlot 2018
Stellenbosch (14.85%)
Full-flavoured, as the Ernie Els wines tend to be, but this Stellenbosch Merlot is as smooth
as the famous golfer’s swing and not without some finesse. Bramble, mulberry and fine oak
are complemented by tannic structure. 2022-25

 

Glenelly – Second Growth

90 pts Glenelly Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2020
Stellenbosch (12.5%)
Luke O’Cuinneagain sources his Chardonnay from alluvial soils as the foot of Glenelly’s
famous slope. Barrel-fermented in 18% new 500-litre oak, it has peach, melon and citrus
flavours, some cream from partial malolactic and subtle cinnamon spice. 2021-24

97 pts Glenelly Lady May 2017
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
Right up there with the best Stellenbosch Bordeaux-style blends from the exceptional 2017
vintage, this is a distinguished, patrician wine where everything is in place: tannins, acidity,
oak and fruit concentration. Marrying Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Cabernet Franc and
Petit Verdot, it has iodine and mint aromas, red berry and cassis flavours, subtle vanilla
spice and impressive underlying structure. A red to cellar. 2024-35

94pts. Glenelly Lady May 2016
Stellenbosch (14%)
“Warm, but not crazily so,” is how Luke O’Cuinneagain describes the 2016 vintage, which
has produced a Lady May that is plusher and a little more open than the 2015 was at the
same stage but still comparatively firm and youthful. Combining Cabernet Sauvignon with
20% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it has damson, blackcurrant and tobacco leaf
flavours, grippy tannins and polished oak. 2024-30

93 pts. Glenelly Estate Reserve Red 2016
Stellenbosch (14%)
Something of a tribute to the Bordeaux “Hermitagé” wines of old, this is Cabernet Sauvignon based with 42% Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and 15% Syrah. Focused, taut, spicy
and elegant, with granular tannins, layers of dark berry fruit, subtle one-third new wood and
the density to age in bottle. 2024-30

92 pts. Glenelly The Glass Collection Cabernet Franc 2019
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
The best of the Glass Collection reds in 2019, this impressive Cabernet Franc comes from
an east-facing parcel at the top of the slope. A homage to Chinon, it has dark plum and black
cherry fruit, notes of graphite and capsicum and ageworthy tannins. 2023-29

92 pts. Glenelly The Glass Collection Merlot 2019
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
You’d expect an estate owned by Bordeaux legend May-Eliane de Lencquesaing to be good
at producing tasty entry-point Merlots and you’d be right. Chocolate and mint aromas are a
prelude to a medley of bramble, black cherry and mocha oak with good supporting tannins.
2023-30

90 pts. Glenelly The Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Stellenbosch (13.5%)
Serious, structured and – it seems fair to make the comparison – rather Bordeaux like, this is
a youthful, compact, mint, damson and coffee bean flavoured Cabernet Sauvignon with leafy
tannins and fresh acidity. 2022-27

90pts. Glenelly The Glass Collection Syrah 2019
Stellenbosch (14%)
A wine that delivers lots of flavour for your money, this is mostly whole bunch fermented
and has the spices and stemmy texture to prove it. Peppery, savoury and gutsy with sinewy
tannins and blackberry fruit. 2022-25

 

Kaapzicht –Fourth Growth

96 pts. Kaapzicht The 1947 Chenin Blanc 2020
Stellenbosch (13.27%)
Tropical, exotic and richly flavoured it may be, but this stunning old-vine Chenin Blanc is
beautifully poised and balanced with incredible focus and palate length. Dense, nuanced
and finely oaked, it has honey, nectarine and apple pie flavours, zesty acidity and delightful
minerality and length. 2022-28

92 pts. Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2018
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
The 70% new wood is pretty punchy here, adding structure as well as toasty flavours to the
wine, but it’s matched by intense bramble and blackberry fruit, with layered tannins, good
acidity and notes of aromatic Asian spices. 2023-28

91 pts. Kaapzicht Steytler Pentagon 2017
Stellenbosch (14.57%)
Still young at the moment, and expressing the concentration of the 2017 vintage, this is a
dark, inky, brooding red marrying Cabernet Sauvignon with 50% Cabernet Franc, Merlot,
Malbec and Petit Verdot. Chocolatey oak frames intense liquorice, damson and cassis fruit.
Needs time to soften. 2022-28

 

Kanonkop – First Growth

96 pts. Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2019
Stellenbosch (13.59%)
The yields are tiny at two tons per hectare in this 68-year-old Pinotage block, which partly
explains the high price. But it’s also an attempt to wave the flag for a variety that Kanonkop
has almost made its own. Cinnamon and ginger spice notes segue into palate that’s rich
and layered, featuring blueberry and blood orange fruit, granular tannins and vivid acidity.
2024-35

96. pts Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2018
Stellenbosch (13.9%)
The latest vintage of this iconic Cape cuvée marries Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% each of
Cabernet Franc and Merlot. There’s no sign of the heat of the vintage or of the extraction you
find in some Stellenbosch reds in 2018. Subtle, smooth and graceful, this is characteristically
perfumed and complete, with fine new wood, detailed tannins, racy acidity and tobacco,
green herb and cassis flavours. 2024-35

95. pts. Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Stellenbosch (14.9%)
The quality of the 2015 Paul Sauer alerted us to the fact that this was a special vintage for
Cabernet Sauvignon on the farm and this wine supplies further proof. Sourced from six
parcels, it has elegant 50% new wood, violet, liquorice and fynbos aromas, svelte tannins,
graphite and blackcurrant leaf flavours and a volatile lift 2024-32

94. pts. Kanonkop Pinotage 2019
Stellenbosch (14.9%)
It’s no mean feat to make 75,000 bottles of a Pinotage of this quality, which expresses
all of the good things about the variety and none of its weaknesses. Rich, supple and violet scented, with glossy tannins, fine 80% new oak and succulent strawberry and blackberry
fruit. 2023-30

92. pts. Kanonkop Kadette Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Stellenbosch (13.3%)
Even in a tricky Stellenbosch vintage like 2019, this impressive, ludicrously good value
Cabernet Sauvignon delivers the goods. Structured, perfumed and sensitively wooded, it
has serious tannins for a R150 red, notes of mint and cassis and a textured, detailed finish.
2022-27

92. pts Kanonkop Kadette Cape Blend 2019
Stellenbosch (13.8%)
My favourite of the Kadette reds – and it’s a wine that I drink often at home – this is a
gloriously accessible 1.7 million bottle red based on Pinotage with 56% Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Smooth and appealing with graphite-laced tannins, some earth
and tobacco leaf notes, red berry and plum fruit and a hint of wood. 2021-27

90. pts. Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage 2019
Stellenbosch (14.4%)
By far the cheapest of the three Pinotages that Abri Beeslaar makes at Kanonkop, but it’s still
a very impressive wine, not least because he makes 800,000 bottles of it. Lightly wooded,
with plenty of colour, scented bramble and raspberry fruit, textured tannins and a twist of
liquorice. 2022-27

 

Lemberg – Fourth Growth

94 pts. Lemberg Hárslevelü 2020
Tulbagh (12.1%)
Unique in South Africa, this is a fascinating rendition of one of Hungary’s best white grapes.
Grippy, steely and concentrated, with some tannins from partial skin contact, hint of pear,
mango and lemon peel and a taut, deftly wooded finish. 2022-26

92 pts. Lemberg Lady 2020
Tulbagh (13.3%)
Lady marries Viognier with Hárslevelü, Chenin Blanc and a splash of Sauvignon Blanc,
with lots of skin contact before ageing in older wood. Struck match aromas lead into a
palate of pear, peach and citrus peel with delightful underlying structure. 2021-25

93 pts. Lemberg Louis 2019
Tulbagh (13.5%)
Earlier picked and correspondingly fresher than some recent vintages of Louis, this is a
floral, mineral-edged blend of mostly Syrah with 25% Mourvèdre and Grenache. Lightly
reductive, in a good way, with crunchy raspberry and red cherry fruit and judiciously
handled 25% new wood. 2022-29

93 pts. Lemberg Nelson 2017
Tulbagh (15.3%)
Fresher and more focused than its alcohol level might lead you to expect, this is a spicy,
layered, inky Syrah with classic whole bunch spice and texture, chewy tannins and layers
of bramble, smoked meat and blackberry flavours. 2022-27

93 pts. Lemberg Spencer 2017
Tulbagh (14.6%)
Texture and balance are the keys to this delicious Pinotage from the Lemberg team.
Plush, supple raspberry and wild strawberry flavours are framed by scented oak with
supporting acidity on the finish. 2022-27

 

Catherine Marshall Wines – Third Growth

95 pts. Catherine Marshall Chenin Blanc Fermented In Clay 2020
Western Cape (14%)
Combining grapes from Elgin and the Bottelary Hills, fermented in older wood and mostly
unglazed clay amphoras, this is a brilliantly judged cuvée with quince, nectarine and
grapefruit flavours, stony intensity and a waxy, balanced finish. 2022-28

93 pts Catherine Marshall Riesling 2020
Elgin (12.5%)
Typical of the elegant, understated style that runs through all of Cathy Marshall’s wines, this
is floral and just off-dry, with lovely focus, steely acidity and flavours of lime and green apple.
Classy stuff from the Cape’s original garagiste. 2021-28

91 pts Catherine Marshall Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Elgin (14%)
Cathy Marshall always seems to find extra nuances and layers in her wines, even in an entry point Sauvignon Blanc. This is made with three different clones – from the Graves, Sancerre
and South Africa – and is pithy, stony and saline, with elderflower and gunflint notes and a
long finish. 2021-24

95 pts Catherine Marshall Finite Elements Pinot Noir 2020
Elgin (13.5%)
The latest in a series of superb wines under the Finite Elements label, this is a an ambitious,
small-volume Pinot Noir from one of the Cape’s most experienced winemakers. Rich, dense
and slightly ferrous, it’s an Elgin-meets-Pommard style, with lots of grip, layers of fynbos,
aromatic spices and red berries and the structure to age in bottle. 2022-28

93 pts Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Clay Soils 2020
Elgin (13.5%)
Broader and more textured than its Sandstone partner, this is a little more compact and
brooding in its youth, but will reward cellaring. Spicy, savoury and well balanced, it unfurls
flavours of black cherry, earth and redcurrant in the glass, supported by fine-grained
tannins. 2021-27

93 pts Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Sandstone 2020
Elgin (13.5%)
The lightest and most delicate of Cathy Marshall’s three Pinot Noirs, this has enticing aromas
of wild strawberry and aromatic spices, detailed tannins, nuanced oak and a juicy summer
pudding palate. 2022-27

 

Steenberg – Cru Bourgeois

92 pts. Steenberg The Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Constantia (14.1%)
Elunda Basson uses grapes from Steenberg’s two best Sauvignon Blanc vineyards to produce
this weighty but unoaked white. Leesy, creamy and intense, with blackcurrant leaf acidity
and a palate that combines grapefruit and mangetout flavours. 2021-24

90 pts Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Constantia (14.1%)
Different parcels picked at varying levels of ripeness make up the blend of this intense
Sauvignon Blanc, which combines aromas of fresh herbs and green beans with gooseberry
and cream soda notes. Sappy and fresh. 2021-24

 

Rustenberg – Third Growth

93 pts. Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2019
Stellenbosch (13.5%)
This celebrated site on the Simonsberg always produces a very distinctive style of
Chardonnay. Bold, rich and concentrated, with stone fruit and toffee fudge flavours, stylish
60% new wood, creamy lees and underpinning acidity and focus. 2021-26

91 pts. Rustenberg Chardonnay 2020
Stellenbosch (13%)
Rustenburg’s estate Chardonnay is always a textbook Simonsberg expression of the grape,
with pear, melon and citrus fruit, some cream from full malolactic, 25% new wood and a
mineral backbone. Very drinkable. 2021-24

90 pts. Rustenberg Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Stellenbosch (13%)
Rustenberg’s Sauvignon Blanc blocks are located at 500 metres on the Simonsberg and
produce a barrel-fermented wine with corresponding freshness. Citrus, elderflower and
grapefruit flavours are embellished by 12% new oak. 2021-23

95 pts. Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2018
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
An impressive follow up to the brilliant 2017, this pure Simonsberg Cabernet Sauvignon is
enjoying a rich run of form. Inky, concentrated and profound, with cedarwood and graphite
aromas, impressive structure, fine-grained tannins and fleshy plum and dark berry fruit.
2023-30

93 pts. Rustenberg John X Merriman 2019
Stellenbosch (14%)
John X is one those wines that never lets you down. Merlot based with 56% Cabernet
Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, it’s a svelte, polished, refined red with caressing
tannins, subtle wood and cassis, red cherry and capsicum flavours. 2022-28

 

Waterford Estate – First Growth (Best Cellar Door Experience Award 2021)

90 pts Waterford Sauvignon Blanc 2020
Elgin (12.8%)
Waterford have been making an Elgin Sauvignon Blanc since 2009, sourced from five blocks
and picked over a period of three weeks. This is an appealingly zesty style with lime and
grapefruit flavours and a chalky bite. 2021-24

93 pts. Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
Stellenbosch (12%)
Planted back in 1988, Chardonnay remains the only white grape on Waterford’s estate on
the Helderberg. Showing some of the creaminess and breadth of the warmer 2018 vintage,
but this subtly wooded number has lovely underlying minerality and citrus peel freshness.
2021-26

93 pts. Waterford Old Vine Project Chenin Blanc 2019
Stellenbosch (13.5%)
Purchased grapes from two vineyards in Bottelary and Devon Valley, planted in 1966 and
1978, supply the raw material for this grippy, stony, very lightly wooded Chenin, which shows
quince and green apple flavours and impressive zip, freshness and palate length. 2022-28

97 pts. Waterford Estate The Jem 2016
Stellenbosch (14.3%)
The Jem is gloriously unique, built on a base of Cabernet Sauvignon with 52% Syrah,
Mourvèdre, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and Barbera towering above it.
Part Bordeaux, part Rhône Valley part northern Italy, it’s also uniquely South African, with
stylish, perfumed, elegant aromas and flavours of red and black fruits, nuanced oak and a
long, tapering finish. 2025-35

95 pts. Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Stellenbosch (13.5%)
Often among my favourite Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignons, this textbook Helderberg red
was blended with 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc in 2017. Scented, refined and effortlessly dense and complex, with aromatic 30% new wood, mocha, cedarwood and cassis flavours and a long, balanced, refreshing finish. 2022-30

94 pts. Waterford Estate Single Vineyard Grenache Noir 2018
Stellenbosch (14%)
Now into its fourth vintage, the Waterford Grenache proves that you don’t have to be based
in Piekenierskloof to make great examples of the southern Rhône’s best grape. Delicate, floral
and lightly wooded, it has red cherry and raspberry fruit, supple tannins and undertones of
clove and smoked bacon. 2022-28

93 pts. Waterford Estate Kevin Arnold Shiraz 2017
Stellenbosch (14.5%)
Often among my favourite Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignons, this textbook Helderberg red
was blended with 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc in 2017. Scented, refined and effortlessly dense and complex, with aromatic 30% new wood, mocha, cedarwood and cassis flavours and a long, balanced, refreshing finish. 2022-30

Wine being poured into a glass

A roundup of reviews and awards

A selection of notable reviews and awards captured over the last month

 

We are delighted for our many winemakers as the Decanter World Wine Awards were announced in July, as they achieved 4 gold Medals and 24 silvers full details here 

Bouchard Finlayson winemaker, Chris Albrecht, has been featured in Square Mile magazine this month as a ‘Taste Maker’. The Q & A covers a range of topics, including his first experience of wine, his favourite Bouchard Finlayson cuvée, discussions on the 2021 harvest and his death row bottle!  Read the interview

Meanwhile, in Condé Nast Traveller, digital editor Olivia Morelli chose Bouchard Finlayson among her ‘what we’re buying’ as part of their feature ‘What the editors are loving right now’. To read the full articles 

The August edition of Decanter Magazine features an article on the Adelaide Hills by David Sly. No report on the Adelaide Hills would be complete without a mention of Bird in Hand. He names them one of the region’s top producers of Shiraz, and he has awarded an incredible 97 points to their 2018  Syrah.

Joe Czerwinski writing for Wine Advocate, has reviewed a number of Escarpment wines, including their latest release single vineyard Pinot Noirs, in his ‘New Zealand: Part 2 – Mostly Not Marlborough’ article. Some Top scores for the 2019 single vineyard Pinot Noirs – which are due to arrive into UK by September.

Writing for winemag.co.za, Greg Sherwood MW has described Glenelly’s flagship wine, Lady May, a ‘Cape legend in the making‘. He tasted the 2015 vintage alongside the unreleased 2016 and 2017 vintages, click to read the notes. 

…and Rebecca Gibb MW writing for vinous.com March 2021 awards 95 points and has this to say about the 2019 Greystone Pinot Noir Vineyard Ferment ‘The 2019 Pinot Noir Vineyard Ferment is literally made in the vineyard; the fermentation takes place among the vines, and the result is fragrant, pure and poised. This is the fourth such release from Greystone, and it has many layers of aromatic intrigue, from pretty red cherry coulis and floral notes to fennel and gamey characters. It offers excellent depth and fruit concentration but retains a sense of transparency and freshness. Although the wine spent 15 months maturing in oak barrels, the newest wood was third-fill, thus there’s very little oak in evidence on the nose or palate, allowing the fruit to shine. The tannins are mouth-coating and display a fine chalky texture on the lengthy finish. A sensitively made, unadulterated expression of Pinot Noir. Un-fined and unfiltered with 20% whole bunch incorporated.’

 

 

 

 

Bouchard Finlayson

New release tasting notes from Bouchard Finlayson

Master Sommelier and DWWA judge Eric Zwiebel presented a selection of new releases from South African winery Bouchard Finlayson at a recent tasting at the Milestone Hotel in London. See below for tasting notes and points awarded.

For the full article by Natalie Earl as featured in DECANTER ONLINE AUGUST 2021,  please click here

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Missionvale Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde, Walker Bay, South Africa 2018

Ripe and buttery aromas are complemented by peach and grapefruit flavours. Toasty, smoky and cream cheesy, this is rich and inviting, intensely spicy and texural, leaving a slight grip on the teeth. Certainly a wine for food, like scallops or barbecued salmon…

Points 93

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Crocodile’s Lair / Kaaimansgat Chardonnay, Overberg, South Africa 2018

Lots of ripe white peach and blossom aromas play with warming vanilla, smoke and toast characters, providing an inviting sensory experience. A mineral edge creeps into the palate, which is enhanced by a spicy acidity. There’s noticeable oak influence, but it’s integrated and serves to add complexity to the pineapple…

Points 92

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Sans Barrique Chardonnay, Cape South Coast, South Africa 2018

With the focus being on purity of fruit, this is an unoaked style of Chardonnay which was fermented in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation. This has given a subtle and elegant nose of white peach, blossom and honeysuckle. A distinct ripeness of fruit comes through, more towards the stone…

Points 92

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Sauvignon Blanc, Hemel-en-Aarde, Walker Bay, South Africa 2020

This treads a nice line between freshly cut grass and lemon and lime lift. It’s not a tropical fruit bomb, instead a pithy key lime pie with a serious mineral, stony edge. The palate is big with bright florals, developing a richness, from significant extended lees maturation…

Points 91

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Blanc de Mer, Cape South Coast, South Africa 2019

Intensely limey and lemony on the nose, with fresh, friendly and inviting characters of lemon pith, yellow apples and jasmine blossom. Grapefruit overtones, with salty and mineral undertones. This is not a classic combination of grape varieties, but it’s a fun, enjoyable wine made for fresh seafood….

Points 89

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde, Walker Bay, South Africa 2019

A superb Pinot put together using only the very best barrels of Bouchard Finlayson’s flagship wine, Galpin Peak, and only made in exceptional years. A complex selection and marriage of the best new wood, coming from some of the oldest vines on the estate….

Points 95

 

Bouchard Finlayson, Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde, Walker Bay, South Africa 2019

Smoky and brooding on the nose, with a deep undercurrent of red currants, red cherries, bramble and dark berries. It’s both savoury and full of sweet fruit and toasted almonds, providing instant gratification. Open and inviting, and does feel a little warm on the finish…

Points 93

Bouchard Finlayson, Hannibal, Hemel-en-Aarde, Walker Bay, South Africa 2018

 

Intense and dominated by big spicy, meaty aromas, which follow through onto the palate. Dark ripe fruit mingles with leather and liquorice, a slightly charred, burnt character and grippy tannins. This is dominated mostly by Italian varieties Sangiovese and Nebbiolo…..

Points 90