(2019) Much fuller and more ripe than the Restless River Cab Sauvignon (tasted alongside and which is a bit of a Cab Franc lookalike), 20% whole clusters were used and the wine aged only in larger oak. Creamy and ripe fruit, a certain density to the aroma, lots of spices and elegant tobacco, touched by Cab Franc leafiness. The palate has such juiciness married to dryness, really dry, but not at all over-extracted, with great, tangy fruit-skin bite and energy.
(2015) 40 year old vineyards grown on shale soils, aged in old French oak barrels. Delightful deep colour but light in texture and extract. A plum and liquorice edge of brightness to this, deliciously plummy and high in acid with fantastic energy. Great depth of flavour.
(2013) 14.5% abv and a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Shiraz. Quite freshly spicy, a touch of cedar, the fruit savoury and quite racy on the nose, with a little more vanilla coming through. The palate has really nice balance between sweet, ripe and full fruit and the racy leanness with a bit of tannin, though that is soft and gentle, and decent, with a lot of spice and really nice fresh character.
(2013) 12.5% abv, with plenty of elderflower and thiol character, with a gooseberry freshness and hint of passionfruit. On the palate it has lots of juicy freshness and it is very dry, though perhaps a touch less decisive, a little hint of dilution, but fresh and appetising.
(2013) With a modest 12.6% abv this has a delicate nuttiness and honey, with nothing showy or overt. There's a suggestion that this is very ripe, very fine, and onto the palate it has a lovely balance between fresh, clear, running water clarity and the subtle concentration of the fruit. A touch of lime peel and melon peel, juicy fruit but a resolved clarity and harmony too. A delicate but deliciously drinkable style.
(2013) 15% abv, there's a slightly odd, vegetal and animal notes at first, a bit reductive perhaps, or is it just meatiness and oak character? Blows off, leaving a deep and quite meaty character. On the palate intense sweetness to the fruit, it is big, sweet and creamily ripe stuff, the tannins very ripe and smooth, the finish juicy, a real squirt of cherry to freshen.
(2013) A different beast with 14.46% abv, a blend of 32% Mourvèdre, 27% Pinotage, 27% Shiraz, 13% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Gorgeous, creamy and lifted red and black fruit, with plenty of cassis and really ripe blackcurrant, lots of cream and cocoa, lots of plushness but has a suggestion of a firm backbone. The palate is juicy and has a big, lean, slightly gamy focus with chocolate covered cherry. The palate is smooth with really nice quality of oak that adds a smoky swirl and touch of plum skin, tart freshness. Lovely length.
(2013) 12.5% abv, this is quite pungent and green, with loads of herbs and rosemary and dill, a real streak of herbaceousness over lemony fresh fruit. On the palate it has a really nice concentration, the fruit retains that herbaceous bite, but the apple and fresh, lemon really streaks through into a decisive, dry but long finish.
(2013) All barrel fermented in old oak, "all sorts of ferment on skins," according to Niels. Lovely fresh colour and lots of flinty, mineral smokiness, some soft green herb notes too. The firm, crisp apple is there, but this is more about something mineral. Is there a touch of oak on this? It certainly has a little of that nutty quality, a touch of something toasty, but that could be minerality again expressed as a flinty, racy character. The sweet mid-palate ripeness and richness builds in a complex, long wine with concentration. An intriguing expression of Chenin.
(2013) Meaty, gamy, northern Rhône style with lots of dark mulberry fruit and hints of chocolate, there are hints of leafiness and complexity too, a touch of pepper in a very attractive, complex nose. Beautiful palate. It has the sweetness of fruit of the Paardenkloof, but adds substantial layers beneath of full, creamy textured oak and plum, the tannins very svelte and creamy on the mid palate, and the spice and pepper filling in on the finish with a powerful freshness and length.