(2021) South African take on Georgia's traditional winemaking, 54% Shiraz and 46% Grenache, fermented and aged on the skins in 'qvevri' (traditional clay amphora) for three months, then a further six months in qvevri without skins or stems. The nose has a certain meatiness and very dark, lightly smoky and earthy aromatics. With a little time in the glass a certain floral high note is just discernable. In the mouth the fruit is submerged beneath those firm, dark-edged characters, liquorice and bittersweet damson and plum skins, a roughening grip of tannins and plenty of balancing acidity. It's a serious, chewy, fairly uncompromising mouthful of wine, though not one for those seeking a fruit-forward style.
(2021) Stressing its natural credentials, this is fermented with wild yeasts from old vine fruit, not organic, but sustainably farmed. The nose is peachy-creamy with a hint of lemon meringue pie, but the wild yeast does give that little bready, lightly spicy note too. In the mouth it has a really nice texture, a little bit of grip, and that downy peach character is buttressed by firm salts and lemons acidity, into a decent length of finish. Very easy to sip, yet has a bit of real character too. Watch my video review for more information.
(2020) Mourvèdre labelled as coming from the coastal region of South African viticulture, which covers many well-known wine regions, though the Lidl website says Stellenbosch specifically. At £5.99 what do you expect? Well in this case a delicious gluggable spicy and fruity red, dark bramble and pepper aromas leading on to a smooth palate with plum and ripe blackberry fruit, not a lot of tannin to speak of, but enough grip to give it some savoury and barbecue-friendly appeal for sure.
(2019) Carsten Migliarina sourced fruit for this wine from two 35-year-old bush vine vineyards in Swartland and Stellenbosch. Whole bunch pressed, 50% was naturally fermented in barrel and 50% inoculated in steel tanks. It's a beautifully clear and uncluttered expression of Chenin, barely influenced by the wood, and yet completely avoiding the tanky, pear-drop character of some commercial Chenins, to give a wine with intensity, fabulous sweet fruit concentration, and a dazzling, punchy array of acids sparking in the mouth. Unusual and excellent. Not listed in UK retailers at time of review, but imported by Uncharted Wines.
(2019) Coastal Region wine, from 1980s vineyards in Stellenbosch and Pearl. A deeply coloured, powerful wine, plenty of substantial presence, slightly meaty nose, a touch of green-tinged dry and ashy character, with lots of sweet fruit, touched with a leafy, savoury character in the finish. The blend is 30/70 Alicante and Tempranillo.
(2019) An aptly named blend of mostly Syrah with Mourvèdre, Grenache and – surprise surprise – Tannat, the great grape of Madiran that’s rarely seen in a ‘GSM’ blend. Very appealing on the nose, with white pepper indeed, spice and a soulful depth of berry fruit. In the mouth a generous, rich and smooth wine, overflowing with dark fruits, sweet and ripe tannins, a discreet acidity and plenty of creamy and ripe flavours to make it wildly crowd-friendly – and a banker for this summer’s barbies. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) A little bit of tanky, pear drop character, then honey and fat lemony fruit comes through, more luscious notes too. The palate is riven with orange and citrus, but great concentration and phenolic grip - a little too much? - massive salt and lemon presence. "A vintage for the record books," according to Kleine Zalze.
(2016) 40-year-old bush vines from Durbanville and from Stellenbosch, matured in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels for 18 months. Quite a high, slightly volatile character, with floral notes mixing with coffee and cough sweets. The palate has a sweet berry richness, a creamy and toasty mocha layer of oak, and a balanced finish.
(2015) Note that this Shiraz comes from the 2011 vintage, so has had a little time to soften. From cooler coastal vineyards it retains genuine freshness despite its 15% alcohol, the nose offering a fine grilled meat, crisp bacon fat character so typical of Syrah from cooler zones, as well as meaty berry fruits and white pepper spice. In the mouth it is hugely fruity, a great, deep core of ripe and sweet black fruit, but always edged by that meatiness, a touch of bittersweet endive, and freshening cherry acidity. It's a big, plush and textured wine without a doubt, but really well balanced.
(2015) This is a South African Chenin in the barrel-fermented, ripe and honeyed style. With its 14% alcohol it is powerful, immediately so on the nose with toast and toffee apple, a squeeze of lemon and buttery sense of weight and richness. In the mouth it is full-flavoured and full-textured, there's a hint of exotic fruit ripeness and sweetness, then the creamy almond quality of the oak fills in beneath whilst the fresh acidity propels the finish. Just delicious, ready to drink, but should also cellar for a few years.