IWSC winner 1200 x 800

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2024

The first tranche of results are in from this years IWSC. The bulk of entries from Seckford Agencies will be judged in South Africa in July, but we are delighted to announce the following winners from Australia & New Zealand:

IWSC Gold Medal                                              
Golden Amrita Sunshine Hill Shiraz 2021*

IWSC Gold medal

IWSC Silver Medal
Trentham Estate Reserve Shiraz 2022

IWSC Bronze medals
Golden Amrita Lumenval Moppa Shiraz 2020*
Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 2021
Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga 2016
Trentham Estate The Family Nebbiolo 2022
Trentham Estate The Family Vermentino 2023
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2021

* Vintages currently in stock and linked to further information on the website

IWC medals 2024

Medal results in from the International Wine Challenge 2024

Congratulations to all our winners this year.
Vintages marked with an * are currently in stock and linked to the website.

 

GOLD MEDALS

IWC 2024 Gold

Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2023

Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2021

Paul Cluver Estate Chardonnay 2022

Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 2020*

Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2022

 

SILVER MEDALS

IWC 2024 Silver

Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay 2023

Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2022

Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2021

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2022

Golden Amrita Lumenval Moppa Shiraz 2020*

Golden Amrita Sunshine Hill Shiraz 2021*

Golden Amrita Single Estate Shiraz 2021

Golden Amrita Lumenval Moppa Shiraz         

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2022  

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2023          

Ernie Els Major Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 

Ernie Els Big Easy Red blend 2022 

Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair Kaaimansgat Chardonnay 2022*  

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Grenache Blanc 2023

Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay 2022

Rustenberg Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2023

Greystone Organic Chardonnay 2022

Trentham Estate Reserve Shiraz 2022

 

BRONZE MEDALS

IWC 2024 Bronze

Trentham Estate Reserve Noble Taminga 2016

Trentham Estate The Family Nebbiolo 2022

Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2021

Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir 2022*

Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot Noir 2020

Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir 2023

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2023

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2023 

Rustenberg Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay 2023  

Steenberg Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc 2023

Steenberg Catherina 2020 

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)

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.

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

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.

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

 

Wine producer

DWWA 2021

The Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) were announced last week. Once again we were delighted that a number of our wines won gold and silver awards. Congratulations to all the producers listed below.

Gold medals

2019 Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir, Bouchard Finlayson –  96 pts
Shows class and pedigree. A shy, tight nose of tilled earth and freshly cured bresaola. Young, tight, concentrated black fruits, mouth-watering acidity, and an intense palate.

2018 Seven Flags Chardonnay, Paul Cluver – 96 pts
Apples, cream, nuts, orange peel, and spicy oak all over the nose, with a dry, long, super moreish palate. Excellent now and for years to come.

2019 Five Soldiers Chardonnay, Rustenberg – 96 pts
Rich, round, and fleshy. Ripe and exotic with apple crumble and mandarins through to oak and spun sugar. A very smart, well-honed creation.

2019 Pinot Noir, Wooing Tree – 95 pts
Aromatic intensity here, with dark cherry, spice and a mocha lift. A complex palate with a bright red fruit style, ripe tannins and appetising finish.

Silver medals

2017 Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Glenelly – 94 pts
Perfumed currants, blueberry crumble, menthol, lavender. Fabulous length, firm yet silky tannins, brilliant tensions, but needs more time to unfurl.

2020 Steen, Donkiesbaai – 94 pts
Stunning citrus zest, white pepper, beeswax and marshmallow flavours offered in a cloak of enticing, complexing granitic minerality.

2019 The Boxer Shiraz, Mollydooker – 94 pts
Authentic and honest, with rich blackberry, raspberry and cherry, underpinned by tar and olive on the succulent palate. Massively enjoyable.

2017 Seven Flags Pinot Noir, Paul Cluver – 94 pts
A charming balance of floral; violets and roses, fruit; crunchy redcurrant, red cherry, savoury; cigar box, toast, liquorice. A fine effort.

2017 Estate Wine, Rust en Vrede – 94 pts
Charming blueberry and blackberry boiled sweets and attractive vanilla oak spice with a lovely freshness that carries this wine’s finish.

2015 The Jem, Waterford Estate – 94 pts
Savoury and spicy; fireside embers, cedar, cigars, baked plum. Swathes of ripe tannins. Rich but not heavy; impressive.

2020 Noble Late Harvest Riesling, Paul Cluver – 93 pts
Glazed blood orange, sweet lemon marmalade, gingerbread, and buttered warm white toast with melted honey. Plain and simply delicious.

2019 Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Rust en Vrede – 93 pts
Flavours of red fruit compote, a touch of dusty earth, and creamy, black mineral tannins. Eye-popping freshness and great ageing potential.

2018 Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon, Rustenberg – 93 pts
A taut, dark, rich wine with hedgerow fruits, graphite and wine gum flavours. Creamy and sleek with grippy tannins.

2019 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, Bouchard Finlayson – 92 pts
Raspberry yogurt, earthy notes, hints of cedar spice, and dried herbs. Long, with plenty of Cola and brambly fruit complexity.

2017 Proprietor’s Blend, Ernie Els – 92 pts
Big, powerful, and ripe with blackcurrant, cassis, and toast. Fine, with classical depth. A lot more to come from this wine.

2020 Estate Riesling, Paul Cluver – 92 pts
An off-dry style, carried well by the acids, with spicy apple, peach, and citrus flavours and a long apricot finish.

2018 Estate Chardonnay, Paul Cluver – 92 pts
Lovely green apple fruit pastille note melts into white peach and quince notes. A nicely textured palate and long finish.

2020 Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Bouchard Finlayson – 91 pts
Lively and bracing acidity with lots of citrussy, zippy fruit on the palate. Attractive and pure. Lots of intense, primary fruit.

2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, The Stellenbosch Reserve – 91 pts
Pronounced cassis, blackcurrant leaf, tea leaf, and dried flowers. All primary and youthful at present, but with the structure to develop.

2020 Village Chardonnay, Paul Cluver – 91 pts
A vibrant and zesty white. The palate is gentle, pithy, with citrus, lemon peel, and a hint of mint. Excellent value.

2019 John X Merriman, Rustenberg – 91 pts
Dark and brooding with mulberries, dark plums, clove, and cedar. Juicy acidity, ripe supple tannins, and good concentration. Lovely persistent finish.

2020 Chardonnay, Rustenberg – 91 pts
Smart, compact, white blossom, white citrus, honeysuckle, apple pie, and a hint of fresh mint. Restrained, mineral and elegant.

2018 Big Easy Red Blend, Ernie Els – 90 pts
Perfumed note of parma violets and blueberries. Concentrated, chiseled palate of exuberant berry fruits with refreshing acidity and fine tannins.

2020 The Doctors’ Rose, Forrest Wines – 90 pts
Bright cranberry, raspberry peach aromas, leading to a creamy palate, light and refreshing, zesty with an almond twist to finish.

2015 Estate Reserve, Glenelly – 90 pts
Deep, inky and dark with earthy, spicy aromatics and hints of licorice, tar, and Provençal herbs. Drinking well now.

2018 Estate Pinot Noir, Paul Cluver – 90 pts
A taut, crunchy wine, with redcurrants and redberry combining with hints of bacon and aniseed underpinned by fine tannin.

2019 Malbec, Rustenberg – 90 pts
Exotic nose of plum and peach tea. Very polished and creamy with lovely, sappy, thick-skinned plums and baking spice intensity.

2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Rustenberg – 90 pts
A bright and fresh palate with grapefruit, hints of blood orange, and tangy acids with a round mouthfeel and long finish.

2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rustenberg – 90 pts
Spicy graphite-tinged black fruits meet tilled earth, leather, and notes of cedar and wood spice. Silky and soft, fleshy yet ultra-pure.

Please note that some vintages may not yet be available in the UK.

Adelaide Hills

Decanter feature on Adelaide Hills

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:

2018 Syrah, Bird in Hand – 97 pts
The heady perfume is elegant: blueberry muffin, wild sage, a whiff of liquorice. The flavours are equally seductive: firm black fruits and sharp cherry, laced in strands of leather and tobacco. Whole-bunch ferment and wild-yeast influence is captured in the right measure, showing deft balance of winemaker intervention and vineyard expression.

2013 MAC Shiraz, Bird in Hand – 95 pts
There’s power and opulence here in abundance, but this heady wine tries not to brag too much. It speaks more of fruit concentration and expensive oak cosseting than terroir expression. Cassis, chocolate, mint, ripe cherry and vanilla flavours purr like a big-engine roadster gliding along a smooth, polished, oaky highway. Luxury many can’t afford.

2014 Nest Egg Shiraz, Bird in Hand – 94 pts
A sweet, high-toned and powerful nose of blackberry, mulberry, blossom and marzipan continues on the seriously concentrated, tightly wound palate. Despite big intensity, the flavours glide smoothly through the extended palate. A big body in a well-tailored suit – very dapper!

2019 Nest Egg Chardonnay, Bird in Hand – 91 pts
Judicious influence of new French oak binds the fleshy stonefruit and grapefruit palate together but the structure seems stern and it is a bit hot on the finish. Needs cellaring to soften.