(2020) The Chilean outpost of Spain's Miguel Torres began life over 40 years ago, making a range of affordable, quality wines. This Sauvignon Blanc hits that spot: dry, with only around 1g/l of residual sugar, it is ripe and bursting with herbaceous, elderflower and gooseberry aroma, a pungent style beloved by many. On the palate plenty of texture and tropical fruit, passion fruit and lychee, a bit of Ogen melon character too, and a balanced finish with decent acidity.
(2019) On a visit to Vergelegen earlier this year I was really impressed by their wines, so it's nice to feature this moderately-priced red from their range. One hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon, it spent 17 months in barrels from top French coopers, 40% new. Bottled in October 2014, even with an additional half decade of ageing it retains a tightly-wound, serious structure, the deep black fruit bound by firm, gripping tannins and decisive acidity. It's a savoury wine, to be enjoyed now and best decanted for a couple of hours, or indeed cellared for a decade more, but it delivers a rich, concentrated mouthful of bold plummy fruit, with cedar, liquorice and spice adding to the chewy density and gastronomic appeal. Watch the video for more information and note the price is a special offer - other retailers are around £17 - £20 for this wine.
(2019) The always-reliable Torres produces this fragrant and fruity, dry rosé that's always an easy-quaffing delight. Made from Grenache, it is pale and fresh with a floral, blossom touch to confectionery and citrus fruitiness. In the mouth there is a hint of sweetness, but it is otherwise dry in the finish, balanced, with good zipping acidity against that lightly peachy and orchard fruit. What's not to like here?
(2019) This has 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot in the blend, matured 17 months in Nevers oak, 65% new. Cool on the nose, but coffee and roasted herbs, a meatiness too, not fruit-led, but there is good black fruit in the mix. The palate has a firm, structured palate, savoury and a bit reserved, but that gives energy and a bit of tannic bite and firmness.
(2019) From two vineyards, the wine on which they made their reputation before the Rubicon cuvée came along. Cedar and sandalwood fragrance, a touch of herbal, olive and leafy herb note, but the clean, firm blackcurrant fruit is lovely. Savoury and juicy, there’s a bit of tart plum skins and liquorice. Dark and dramatic, but the fruit does become quite plush before the acid and taut, polished but grippy tannins push through. Drinking really nicely, and has good light and shade.
(2019) Ripe, but cut by a lanolin and touch of green that slices through the creaminess. Big powerful wine, immense concentration, such orange and lemon juiciness and layered texture, but the buttery weight and texture is a delight. Price and stockist at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2019) Officially G.V.B = Grown, Vinified and Bottled, though the gleam in Andre van Rensburg's eye suggests that unofficially he could have had something else in mind. 'Grand Vin de Bordeaux' perhaps? Matured in 500-litre barrels for the Sauvignon, and 225-litre barrels for the 40% Semillon in the blend. Gorgeous nose, the oatmeal and cream, the gentle exotic wood spices with a rounded creamy palate of stone fruits and lemon. The palate has a mineral, flint and taut fruit palate, the acid structure is superb, in a thrilling wine.
(2019) A moderate 95g/l sugar, this saw 15 months in old oak and is all Semillon. So delicate, fine, so elegant and refined, the sweetness beautifully clear with a touch of sherbet sparkiness. Such dazzling acid freshness, a hint of ginger, just gloriously bright in the finish. Price and stockist at time of review is for the previous vintage. Price for a half bottle.
(2019) Always one of my favourites in the Seven Springs portfolio, 2014 has given an extra oomph of ripeness and chocolatey berry ripeness to this wine, lots of clove spice and menthol, an almost Porty-ripe character, and a lovely depth of black fruits. In the mouth it is powerful and mouth-filling, very firm and quite steely in terms of the acidity and tannin axis, the barrel ageing adding some smokiness and spice, and the fleshiness of the fruit nicely licked into shape by the structure. Another very good Syrah in a run of good Syrahs.
(2018) Roger Goulart is now part of CVNE, as the Rioja producer purchased them earlier this year. Given a full five years on the lees, this is a blend of the traditional cava grapes Xarel.lo, Macabeo and Parellada, and made very dry with only 4g/l of residual sugar. It pours a pale straw yellow with small bubbles, that dissipate quite quickly. The nose has a nice biscuity quality and a little fragrant herb touch, the palate has lemon and yellow plum flavours, and lemony acids. Somehow this wine just didn't catch my attention, lacking a little nerve and precision perhaps, but clearly a quality cava house to watch.