(2020) Released only in the best years, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend also included Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, and was aged 24 months in French oak, 60% of which was new barrels. Blood red in colour, it has a gorgeous nose, riven with pencil shavings and tobacco, plum and blackcurrant, and just that dusty green edge of refined Cabernet. In the mouth it is plush and supple, the creaminess and medium- to full-bodied richness of the fruit, married to spicy oak, taut, elegant and fine tannins and etched by acidity. A terrific wine this. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Creaminess and spices, lots of punchy apple and pear stone fruits, a touch of residual sugar evident, but it remains very, very fresh and flowing,succulent.
(2019) It's not just patriotism talking: this is fine Chardonnay, from selected fruit from the Boot Hill vineyard, whole bunch-pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (20% new), where it also aged for 10 months. Twenty percent of fruit was dropped mid-summer, to intensify flavour and concentration. Stylistically I guess it sits somewhere between Chablis with its 12% alcohol and cool-climate feel, and the Mâconnaise perhaps, that married to a creaminess and delicate but noticeable oak. There's flint and oatmeal on the nose, light almondy nuttiness and creamy orchard fruit. In the mouth that nutiness and delicate toast from the barrel matches up to firm, citrus and Cox's pippin fruit, the racy lemon and hint of salts in the finish adding to a sophisticated appeal.
(2019) Made with 30% whole bunches and very little interference to allow the natural extraction without too much force. Marelise thinks this is the best grape in South Africa. Dryland bush vines in Swartland, though there is also Botriver coming on stream, and a little in this blend. Light, elegant perfume, some nuttiness and dry reducurrant fruit. There is terrific crunch here, with spicy orange peel and clove, but that run of dry, small red berries carries through it. A leaner, more taut style, but I really enjoyed this.
(2017) A nice briary character, a high, incense and smoke character, with real floral lift. The palate has crunch and freshness, with a racy acidity and fine balance. UK stockist and price quoted at time of review is for the 2013 vintage
(2017) A lot of Champagne-like autolysis, with plenty of yeasty character. The creaminess of apples comes through. On the palate the wine has lovely depth and breadth, a soft mousse, and elegant finish with zesty lemon and a touch of fat lemon waxiness, hints of minerality.
(2016) A glorious Riesling this from Trimbach, with a delightful waxy, mineral complexity on the nose, hints of paraffin wax and flowers, ripe orchard fruit beneath. On the palate it is sharp as tack but has its own sense of fat concentration and juiciness, as well as pin-sharp citrus and dry apple acidity. A beautiful example of an Alsace Riesling in a style that's bone-dry, but never austere.