Three from Bruce Jack

When I first met Bruce Jack 20 years ago he was something of an enfant terrible of the South African wine scene, making his quirky and high quality Flagstone wines in a winery right on the waterfront in Cape Town. It was something of a surprise when he took on the job as cheif winemaker for Accolade Wines South Africa, one of the world’s biggest wine suppliers whose brands include Echo Falls, Banrock Station and Kumala. It was a far cry from his hugely individualistic background.

Fast forward 10 years, and in 2018 Bruce resigned from his position with the global giant to launch his own business. Bruce Jack wines now has a few brands to its name, with his own estate in South Africa and partnerships with other winemakers and estates at home and abroad. His entry level brand from South Africa is widely available in UK supermarkets including Sainbury’s, Tesco and Asda. It includes the three wines tasted here, all priced at £7, but all on promotion. These are ‘fighting brand’ wines – designed to take on established players at this ultra competitive entry level – and I am certain they will be on regular promotion. Though sound, I guess they are meant as a commercial foundation on which he can build the more interesting parts of his business.

The Wines

(2021) Sauvignon from the Western Cape, immediately suggesting quite ripe tropical fruit, just a hint of herbaceous gooseberry and elderflower. In the mouth this is basically dry, just a little residual sugar to fatten the mid-palate, quite fresh and clean flavours with a hint of something smoky in there, and enough acidity to stop it feeling cloying. This will regularly appear on promotion I'd guess, and is down to just £5.75 in Asda until December 12th 2021.
(2021) In some ways this Sauvignon Blanc blended with a touch of Shiraz to give it its pink colour is more 'Sauvignony' than the straight SB. It certainly has the herbal, grassy and elderflower punch going on, some dry and pithy acidity making it feel a touch drier too. There is a little bit of confectionary sweetness towards the finish, that maybe jars slightly against that acid. £5.75 in Asda until the end of 2021.
(2021) About 90% Shiraz with a dash of Malbec, this ruby-crimson wine has loads of smokiness on the nose, charred meat and bonfire ash to the fore. In the mouth a big, sweet and substantial mouthful, loaded with sweet black fruit and creamy in texture, that smokiness and slightly harsh acidity in the finish. I guess there's no denying it is a lot of wine for £6 in Tesco, on promotion November 15th to December 5th 2021.

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