(2021) South Africa's most famous exponent of Chenin Blanc, the Old Vine Reserve from Ken Forrester comes from vineyards planted in 1976, and is made in a nicely balanced style where partial barrel fermentation (20% new French oak) adds a lustre to the aromatics and palate, creaminess, light toast and almond over ripe and honeyed fruit. In the mouth there is an expansive texture, creaminess again, but pristine flavours of crisp apple melt into more sweet, tropical tones, before a vivid core of acidity powers the finish. Delicious stuff and versatile: watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. On offer at £13.30 at time of review.
(2021) From vineyards in Stellenbosch, this is noticeably less green and pungent than the Sutherland bottling from Elgin. There is a touch of gooseberry and elderflower, but its more about nectarine and grapefruit, the palate sweet with a lusciousness and mouthfilling texture and juicy stone fruit fleshiness. A nice touch of saltiness adds to the freshness of the finish in a stylish Sauvignon.
(2021) A very nicely pitched Sauvignon Blanc this, with a touch of pea shoot and asparagus pungency, but not too much, with fruit too, hinting at the tropical. In the mouth that edge of grassiness keeps it fresh, as does plenty of cool citrus and apple acidity to given it a dry finish, but through the mid-palate there are more nuances of that tropical mango and pineapple to give it plenty of charm and appeal.
(2019) Unwooded, fresh style. Lightly spicy but ripe tropical and juicy apple fruit. There's lovely tropical ripeness to the fruit but it's juicy fresh with good balance and a touch of counter-balancing bitterness.
(2019) Lightly wooded, but from old barrels. Big floral and pear fruit nose, moving into estery banana and pineapple. Full and limpid palate, very rich and the alcohol makes it a little heady. A stylistic choice for a more opulent expression of Viognier.
(2019) Made very simply - "crush, press, ferment," says Murray, then aged on lees for three months. Gooseberry and a touch of flint and elderflower, an attractive green-tinged fruit profile. The palate has a light smoke and earthy quality, good texture, lots of crunchy apple and pear, streaking lemon acid is a really nice style.
(2019) Wild fermented in 300-litre French barrel, 20% new wood. Delicate crushed oatmeal nose, dry apple and pear core fruit is nicely understated, the palate delicate and cool, a light- to medium-body, lot of fruit sweetness and admirably fresh, though having been bottled only a couple of weeks before tsting, should develop a little more depth.
(2017) Also with 4% Chardonnay and 2% Viognier in the blend, the fruit sourced from Stellenbosch and Swartland. A fairly deep colour, delicious oatmeal touches, buttery notes, but the freshness and zest comes through. Juicy, textured with a hint of oiliness, but a nice savoury character and finish.
(2015) Harvested from old bush vines on top slope of Bottelary Hills in Stellenbosch, this was fermented in concrete and aged on the lees for six months. It shows a lovely ripeness from its granite soils, but there's a green apple freshness on the finish too. It has loads of fruit sweetness on the mid-palate, finishing with poise and good length.
(2015) The Bernard Series has been impressive over the years, and this just cements that consistent track record. A perfumed and convincing nose is all apricot and ripe pear fruit, with a certain vegetal quality, hints of green and some exotic incense-touched tropical fruit. The palate has massive fruit presence, mandarin orange and peach is there, but there's loads going on. Sweet and ripe but with good acidity, this has stuffing and real fireworks.