(2018) A great vintage with sufficient rain but very few problems needing any intervention. An Atlantic year. Deep, dense colour. Intense very youthful profile with cedar and black fruits, a graphite and mint chocolate character, and a sense of serious concentration. The palate carries a welterweight of cassis and mint, dramatically dark and plush, long and very very pure, the touch of austerity just adding rigorous charms, but there is light and shade aplenty here.
(2018) This Syrah from the always impressive Craggy Range spent 17 months in French oak barrels, 26% of which were new. Deep crimson and glossy, there's a refined fragrance, violet, delicate kirsch and a sprinkle of white pepper, just a sheen of balsamic oak there too. In the mouth the substance of the wine comes through powerfully, with a dark sinewy and savoury fruit, a real liquorice and endive grip to the tannins and acidity, and a long, fruity but meaty and umami finish. Note: price and stockist at time of writing is for the 2013 vintage.
(2017) This is a very grown-up, serious style of Sauvignon Blanc as befits its winemaker, Andre Van Resnsburg, who once told me his ambition was to make a great white and a great red from Bordeaux varieties. It is concentrated and intense, some fresh pea-shoot and elderflower, but a sense of steeliness too, the thrust of the acidity and weight on the mid-palate giving lots of savoury appeal. Long and juicy despite its obvious power, it is very impressive.
(2016) 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carmenere, 15% merlot, 7% petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. 22 months in barrel, 75% new. Slightly higher, with a little elegant volatile note, graphite and pencil-shavings, the fruit just a little more lifted – slightly cooler, slightly less new oak? It is juicier and really fresh, a tarty cherry sourness adding to the sweet mid palate fruit to give this balance and polish. Long and really a terrific wine.