(2019) From the estate-owned Roundstone vineyard in the Swartland. Lovely perfume again, not as ‘wild’ as the Granite, but a purity of black fruit, a sizzle of bacon fat, and a definite sense of stony minerality. On the palate there is an earthy and meaty ripeness and richness, a twist of liquorice, and good cherry skin acid. Loads of bitter chicory acids and fine but very persistent tannins to give a long, very, very pure finish.
(2019) Always a favourite, always a crowd-pleaser, and now from its own sites in Swartland, that's a big change as it was such a success when mostly made from fruit bought in from across the Wesern Cape. Mark and Gottfried say they realised they had to “become more serious”. Very spicy and sensuous, coffee and chocolate and a deep red berry fruit, tobacco and rustiness, a brighter orange rind and bold red berries on the palate, but then that grip of the tannins, peppery quality and more structure than the old recipe, but still plush and crowd-pleasing. 64% Syrah, 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault and 10% Cabernet (from new oak) with a touch of Viognier.
(2019) In this blend 80% comes from Porseleinberg, 20% from the Gold Mine farm, both in Swartland. Made partially in foudre, part in concrete eggs, and all vines from schist soils. Quite sumptuous with its deep blue/black fruit concentration, a little rounding, sweet blackcurrant pastille character, soft and yet with a briary grip, plenty of racy, dry, earthy and polished fine tannins, some chalky acids to finish. Young.
(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) Around 10% Cabernet Franc in this blend, with barrel ferment components and aged in 100% new wood. A little more perfume here, still that herbaceous note of leafy herbs, less obviously plush blackcurrant, with a lithe, sinewy character, feels like a lithe, silky and refined wine, a little more austere arguably, but has that finesse to the tannins, that less obvious plushness, and is a hugely satisfying wine.
(2019) Cinsault and Shiraz. A smokiness and savoury cherryish character: a compote of tea and cherry. A ripe, beautifully sweet and creamy style, open and relatively opulent, but feather-light too and delicious.
(2019) From six vineyards spread from sea level to 800-metre altitude up at Ceres in Swartland. Much more solid fruit ripeness with glossy black berries it seems, compared to the Home Truth Cab Franc certainly. A lovely mouth-filling elegance, lots of cherry and blueberry tartness and acidity giving it loads of cut and energy.
(2019) Carignan(34%), Syrah (33%), Pinotage (14%), Cinsaut (14%) and Grenache (5%). Quite a bold note, with some rhubarb and roibos notes, but the red fruit dances on the aroma. The palate really bright and clear, dry and with a meatiness, but fine tannins and very good acid balance into a long, savoury finish.
(2018) Wind currents from the north worked to dehydrate the grapes on the vine. This is a super-concentrated vintage in Champagne, although it appears that many wine-makers haven’t grasped the oxidative nature of the vintage and protected the wines accordingly. Nevertheless, it is a grand vintage, and a grand Dom Pérignon. Although I have experienced some bottle variation, the best examples of ’02 have neutron-star-like density, immense richness and a long, honeyed sweetness. We will need to wait for the complexity and finesse, but it will come, so my score of 96/100 is based on potential. At time of this review? Maybe 93/100. Drink 2022-2042. (The “P2” has just been disgorged ready for release in 2019).
(2018) A warm, ripe vintage with fruit at full-throttle. Exotically toned, without suffering too much from the autolytic fatness that is prevalent in some releases from this vintage. Absolutely no hint of greenness, a charming, sunshine wine that is drinking well already. Quite serious for an ’09, and while the score is partly based on potential, even now it a solid 93/100. Drink 2019-2034.