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(2023) Yes, a 22-year-old wine that Ken generously opened. Such a sweet mid palate, with acid still just beautifully pitched, pure spicy tannins and has that meaty, almost gamy edge. Touches of tobacco and wonderfully tangy orange acidity. Very good and in perfect drinking condition. Not available retail in the UK at time of review.
(2023) Another from Ken's experimental 'Misfits' range this is 2015 vintage Pinto Noir. It spent 12 months in second-fill French oak 300-litre barrels. So fragrant, sweet, and minty, what a glorious, ripe, and chocolaty wine, so much weight and suppleness, not leathery, but smooth and dense, but never lacking fragrance. Superb, but not available in the UK at time of review.
(2023) In magnum only, this cellar door special is 100% Mourvèdre made by Ken and head winemaker, Shawn. American oak barrels, but steamed rather than toasted so "The Mourvèdre punches above the barrel," says Ken. Bloody and ripe, so much powerful sweetness to the fruit and creamy in the finish with fine tannins.
(2023) All Carignan, from a 47-year-old unirrigated vineyard, aged 16 months in larger, second-fill French oak barrels. Very classical nose, concentrated old vine fruit, vinous with some cherry and blackcurrant. The palate too follows that quite classic, pure and concentrated style, unadorned but intense and beautifully balanced. This should age too. Very small production, only a few hundred bottles in the UK.
(2022) From the decomposed granite of the Polkadraai Hills, a cooler pocket that often harvests three weeks later than the rest of Stellenbosch. Vines rise from 200 - 240 metres above sea level and are aged 31 to 33 years old. It spent 18 months in new and used French oak barrels. Somewhere between ruby and crimson in colour, there's lots of ripe, quite buoyant black and red fruit here; not so much cassis as blueberry and sweet plum, a touch of incense-like, floral lift. In the mouth it is dry and savoury, lots of structure here with grippy, sandy tannins and a keen line of acidity, the plummy and dark fruit re-asserting into a long, spicy and savoury finish.
(2022) From the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, Blue Lady is a selection of the best Cabernet Sauvignon from French oak barrels (25% new), where it has been aged for 27 months. Super-heavy statement bottle, the colour is a crimson-black. Again there's a ripe, buoyant feel to the fruit here, blueberry and blackcurrant, but a nice floral edge and slightly exotic spiciness. Ripe and mouth-filling fruit, there's a little more flesh and succulence, but again drying, fine tannins push through the finish, the extra year on this 2017 has perhaps helped to smooth the texture and finish, where acid, tannin and fruit are in very nice balance. Powerful.
(2022) Rust en Vrede specialise in Cabernet Sauvignon, which comprises 60% of their Helderberg vineyards. Soils are granite and Table Mountain sandstone. with small deposits of ironstone. The wine was matured in French oak 300-litre barrels (20% new) for 18 months. Quite a vibrant colour, and into the pure cassis fruit, a very nice quality of oak here adding a touch of coffee and cream, but there is a gravelly, lightly ashy quality in there too. On the palate there is a refined, bright edge to this, partly from its very crisp acidity and tight tannins, but the fruit quality and that fine oak quality gives a long, classy finish.
(2022) Also from the decomposed granite slopes of the Helderberg, at 270 to 300 metres above sea level. It aged 26 months in French oak barrels (70% new). Deep crimson edged with ruby, and what an attractive nose, there's an exotic Sandalwood and almost Lily-like touch of florality, over fruit that spans juicy red plum to firmer black fruits. Rounded, sweet and harmonious on the palate, there is loads of spice here, a depth of coffeeish oak, but the supple weight and concentration of fruit plays against crunchy tannins and acidity for a very impressive, powerful, ripe and vivid rendition of Cabernet. Please note price and stockist quoted are for a magnum (1.5l) and an earlier vintage.
(2022) A third wine from the Helderberg, mostly from estate fruit with a little contract fruit in the blend, it spent 19 months in French oak barrels (40% new). A lovely little whiff of peppery herbal character here, before copious black fruit that is firm and savoury, touched by olive and polished wood. In the mouth plenty of blackcurrant and spicy Asian dried plum giving more savouriness. A very firm edge to tannins and acidity on this one, just softened by a little mocha character from the barrel, and a long, fruit-dominated finish.
(2022) From one of the great names of Stellenbosch, and spending eighteen months in French oak (45% new), there's 10% petit verdot in the blend. Filled with mint, cocoa and super-ripe blackcurrant, this is buoyant and crammed with glossy, deep fruit. The palate has that weight and fat of ripeness, sweetness and texture, with a fine backbone of sandy tannin and pert acidity, all layered over polished, cream and high quality oak.
Displaying results 0 - 10 of 29