(2021) This blingy Prosecco comes in a metallic gold bottle, and while that may or may not appeal, I have to say the wine inside is a very nice, dry expression of a vintage-dated Prosecco. Extremely pale in colour, the mousse is foamy and fresh and the aromas are very summery: crisp pears and apples, but a little leafy, herbal hedgerow element too. In the mouth it is light and refreshing, with very good, crisp lemony acidity and a decent length too. Actually rather superior stuff, bling or not.
(2021) Pierre says the development of Botrytis was excellent in 2010, comparing it to 1990, and that the proportion of 10% Sauvignon is unusually high, because the Sauvignon was so good in this year. It spent 20 months in barrels, 50% new and 50% one year old, and has 145g/l of residual sugar. This was a big crop, with over 80,000 bottles produced from a yield that is always between 15 and 20 hectolitres per hectare. I've enjoyed several tastings of this vintage over the years, and it's a wine with realy charm and elegance, but a fabulously approachable sweetness and easy-drinking appeal. There is honey and quite exotic apricot and mango on the nose, more delicate floral notes flit in and out, as well as the light earthy character of Botrytis. Beautiful fruit and texture on the palate, mouth-filling and glycerine-rich, but that orange and tangerine character of the acidity, that persistent touch of leafiness, gives this real freshness even although the concentration and Botrytis character persists in the long finish. Price for a half bottle.
(2021) A blend of 85% Cinsault and País, with grapes from the dry Secano Interior of the Itata Valley, another of the southern valleys now appearing more frequently on labels. This is from a sub-label of Morandé, called 'Morandé Adventure', where winemakers and collaborations produce smaller volumes of more experimental wines. 'Creole' because the dry-farmed Cinsault and País are strongly rooted in the Secano Interior. Winemaker Ricardo Baettig makes this from granitic-clay soils, using carbonic maceration in concrete eggs, and with natural yeasts, and the País partky fermented in older French oak. The colour is a vivid violet-pink, the nose having soft, pulpy raspberry and strawberry fruit and a little cherry bubblegum note, the palate dry and nicely balancing that ripe, juicy and sweet fruit with a sour cherry and orange tang of acidity, the light- to medium-bodied wine finishing on spicy tannins and freshness.
(2020) Chris Alheit bought the fruit from this Stellenbosch vineyard with the purpose of using it in one of his blends, but called the Carinus family to say the quality was too good and it should be bottled separately. And so, this first release of the Polkadraai Chenin Blanc, made by Chris for the family, appeared. Chris ferments this with natural yeasts in concrete 'eggs'. It has a beautifully subtle creaminess on the nose, a subtle floral fragrance too, but that stony, dry, lightly earthy character of the natural ferment is there, maybe a touch of honey in the background. In the mouth there is substantial weight, and substantial concentration too, a cool, intense, ripe apple and fat lemony fruit, that saltiness and stony quality pushing through on the acidity in a wine that is subtle and yet concentrated, with the ripeness of the fruit revealed slowly as you sip. The wine is available in-bond at time of review, so an approximate final price per bottle is quoted.
(2020) The blend is 92% Pinor Noir from Ambonnay (4%), Aÿ (14%), Bouzy (23%), Verzy (37%), Verzenay (14%), and 8% of Chardonnay (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger). The wines was disgorged January 2018, with a dosage of 6g/l. Biscuity aromas to the fore, with notes of almond and chocolate. The palate has a firm line of acidity that gives way to stone fruits mid-palate, the aromas then turn full circle and closes down to a long, chalky minerality on the finish. The long lees aging has enriched the wine with a complex, yeasty richness that feels immediate, but experience tells me to wait for the fruit to build. Impeccably balanced, this will reward cellaring and should drink well from 2023-2040.
(2019) Like all of David & Nadia's wines, this is 'biologically farmed' - not organic but focused ion the biological health of the soil - though in this case half the fruit does come from an organically certified vineyard. Stays on the skins for four weeks, mostly whole bunches, with some natural carbonic fermentation. A year in old oak barriques. Lovely pale colour, cherry ripe with a touch of tobacco and spice. Nice fruit here, dry, nutty and juicy and lithe.
(2018) The blend for this 10-year-old wine 55% Carignan, 35% Syrah and 10% Grenache Noir, with a minuscule yield of 14 hl/ha, two thirds spending 21 months in 500-litre barrels, old and new. Similar colour to the 2010, maybe slightly more dense though with a little more ochre apparent on the rim. Obviously more ripe, more dark berry fruit-driven than the 2010 with a plushness that the 2010 is missing. The palate shows a good tangy orange and cherry acidity, riper and smoother tannins and that density if fruit. It's a really close call, but if pushed I'd marginally prefer the slightly more weighty yeet balanced style of this vintage, though going back to the 2010, the leaner, more mineral style also has great appeal. Again drinking well now and I would not cellar for much longer.