(2019) A Rhône blend of 49% Syrah, 45% Grenache and 6% Mourvèdre, the Syrah for The Gypsy comes gravel soils over clay, the Grenache from decomposed granite at 450m altitude. It spent two years in French oak, all new. A sonorous, deep nose melds cocoa and cedar with lots of plum and brighter cherry fruit. On the palate it's a wine that beautifully marries that richness and depth with an agility through a certain peppery spice, taut tannins and a very good acid framework. Yes it has a chewy character, but fruit and freshness too.
(2019) From the slopes of the Helderberg this is all Cabernet Sauvignon. Fermented with wild yeast, it spent 18 months in barriques, 50% new. Just the faintest touch of herbaceousness, then a silky impression of dense blackcurrant. Creamy, with a little pencil shaving finesse. Lovely palate, sweet and ripe fruit and quite sumptuous again, but a refined tannin and acid structure, not ruffling the creamy smoothness of the fruit.
(2019) Huge, heavy bottle. Five Bordeaux varieties, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, 24 months in new French 300-litre barrels. A subtle nose, the hint of game and cedar, a balsamic note to the oak, lots of sweet cassis, the tannins dry and adding a nice roughness, and again a particulalry peppery finish.
(2019) From bush vines that are up to 63 years old, this spent 18 months in French oak, 75% of it new. Rich, ripe red berries and smoky, fragrant and cedary oak. A really sumptuous style, coffee deep and the fruit is black and glossy. Silky in terms of texture and te fruit, tannin and acid structure, spicy and ripe into the finish.
(2019) At this point the bush vines were 57 years old. This spent 16 months in French oak, 75% new. Similar recipe as the 2016 tasted alongside. Has more of the estery character associated with Pinotage, but there’s an earthier quality through the ageing, the sweet fruit is there on the palate, a stripe of dry tannin giving extra grip, a fresh finish. More Pinotage personality perhaps, though less slick and modern in feel.
(2019) From 25-year-old estate vines on average, this spent 24 months in Nevers oak, 50% new. This is fragrant, with delightfully pure cassis, edged with graphite and nicely polished pencil-shaving character. Very ripe, intense sweet Cabernet, the tannins dry and tight and racy, the acid tangy like cherry skins, plenty of spice into the finish.
(2019) Vines for this bottling were 32 years old on average, and again it had 24 months in Nevers oak, 50% new. A very nice and youthful nose here, a little resinous note, but keen black fruit and some gamy tertiary development adds to the complexity. No UK stockists at time of review.
(2019) A Bordeaux blend of 74% Cabernet with Cab Franc and Merlot, given 24 months in new french oak. Very glossy and ripe fruit here, a touch of balsamic/gravy browning character, but copious sweet fruit and cedar. Lovely palate, the rounding character of the blend giving gently roasted and warming fruit depth, but a seam of pure black fruit. It’s a beautiful wine, with great concentration and balance.
(2019) Made to the same recipe as the 2014 with 24 months in new oak, intense and delicate aromatics, graphite and pencil shavings, a lovely gentle touch of olive, the depth of black fruit obvious. The palate super smooth and delicate in fruit profile, but so juicy and long, a really complete wine at a great stage of its debvelopment. Very long. No UK stockists I can find at time of review.
(2019) Again, 20 months in French oak, loads of graphite and sandalwood, pepper and spices, lovely earth and game touches to the blackcurrant fruit. The palate has sweetness and purity of fruit, it is rounded out by a creamy and delicately toasty oak and the super-smooth polish of the tannins, good cherry acids, great length. Such an elegant and polished wine with the structure for ageing.
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