Cabernet Sauvignon 38%, Syrah 35%, Merlot 27% is the blend for this wine from Franschhoek, matured 10 months in 3rd-fill French oak barrels. Its a deep and plummy style, the merlot perhaps dominating the aromatics, but there's a cherry, even lightly minty and floral lift too. In the mouth a flood of chocolaty blueberry and blackcurrant fruit is pretty much a 'fruit bomb', but it is allied to some good tannin weight and balanced cherry acids to give this a bright and appealing character too.
(2013) >From Paardeberg and Bottelary and 15- to 20-year-old vineyards cooled by sea breezes. Fermented in open 300 and 500 litre barrels, 30% new, then aged in same barrels for 15 months. Co-fermented with 3% Viognier skins. Very nice nose, lots of supple, chocolate, with the plush suppleness of spice and delicious fruit richness and such sweet fruit playing against the tang and life of the acidity and fine tannins. Lovely.
(2013) Mourvèdre, Grenache and a small proportion of oaked Viognier. Very attractive, dry, cranberry and redcurrant fruit, dry and earthy, with a touch or raspberry, and a really nice full. Quite red-wine like and very nice finishing acid balance.
(2013) 40% Shiraz and Mourvèdre, 33% Grenache with Cinsault and fermented on the skins of Viognier. Big, rich, ripe black berry nose, but then there's the crisp, bright focus to the acidity and the fruit on the palate.
(2013) Desiccated Shiraz. Hagen pinches the stems to let bunches dry on the vine. Rich and deep, not so raisined as an Amarone perhaps, but a lovely blue/black fruitiness. Very smooth, and 14% abv gives a rich texture and a blue/black focus to the finish that keeps it pure and really quite fresh in the finish. Tannins fully ripe and acidity pretty good too.
(2013) >From a single vineyard. More classical, with cedar and a touch of wreathing woodsmoke, that little gamy, meaty character ,like the straight Shiraz. A touch dry, but has lovely fruit quality and there's a really nice balance, but it lacks the supple, long finish perhaps, finishing just a little spicy rather than fruity.
(2013) Single vineyard bush vines from Darling. Delightful nose, scented and floral with a rich undertow of coffee and cassis. Quite racy, the blue black fruit hinting at cocoa and blueberry, but there's a freshness too, spice and a nice finish with lovely freshness and a twist of liquorice. Lovely.
(2013) More red fruit character, with lovely chocolate and spice, and a lifted nose showing a bit of that cherry and a little earthy hint too. Really thick, rich and juicy on the palate, much more robust in some ways - less polished perhaps - but there's still that soft, mellow finish.
(2013) A blend of 86% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 4% Viognier fermented together. Lovely, big chocolate and deep spice nose, with lots of round, supple juiciness, again that real depth and succulence. Delicious dark and meaty fruit concentration, but delicious and very rich like Dundee cake.
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