(2020) This is the second wine in a can that I have chosen as Wine of the Week in the past year or so, but in both cases its the packaging factor and understanding that this is a growth area in wine retailing that has driven the choice, as much as the liquid inside. Don't get me wrong, this is a decent Sauvignon Blanc coming from bush vines, dry-farmed in the Darling region of the Western Cape, but apparently sales are increasing three-fold year on year for wines in this environmentaly-friendly packaging, and just check your supermarket shelves next time you are in. First of all, the wine is dry with only 2g/l of residual sugar, and it's a well-tempered example, not to herbaceous but with a bit of grassy punch, and the fruit all lemons and crunchy apples, with that dry, balanced finish. 250ml can is two standard glasses, or one-third of a standard bottle.
(2020) A very unusual non-vintage wine in that it is 90% Chenin Blanc, with 10% of added Merlot. In a 250ml can, Cloof stress its low carbon footprint and unaffected quality. Its a deeply coloured pink, the nose showing a little toffee apple character, some pulpy strawberry too. In the mouth it is crisp, apples and lemons, just a hint of briar and cherry, and dry in the finish. Pretty far from 'Provençal' in style, as it is described in the Cloof literature, but the standard two-glass serving in its lightweight can may appeal for picnics, etc. Coming into stock at time of review.
(2019) Cinsault and Shiraz. A smokiness and savoury cherryish character: a compote of tea and cherry. A ripe, beautifully sweet and creamy style, open and relatively opulent, but feather-light too and delicious.
(2019) From sandy soils in a very hot area, picked when ripe, but only 12.5%, so an oxymoron. There's a little bit of reduction, but a minute of swirling opens it up to reveal a savoury tapenade character, lots of super savoury olive and such a salty lick in the acidity of the finish. Brisk tannins and an altogether delightful wine, served nicely cool.
(2019) Dry farmed vineyards in Darling are the source for this pleasing wine with its herbal note - soft, elegant green leafy herbs rather than vegetal - with a touch of limey fruit. Really nice texture and then a flood of ripe fruit, but loads of zesty lime and terrific acidity not clashing with the fruit, but steely to finish.
(2019) From a single 38-year-old vineyard in Darling aged in old French barrels. Fabulous perfume, vanilla and cream yes, but the florals are all there, some violet and rose petal, a slight nuttiness in the background. Pomegranate juice on the palate, cherry and the smokiness and touch of rhubarb and bitters acidity is lovely. Long with good structure even though light and elegant.
(2019) The site for this fruit in Darling is not that far from Swartland, but has much more Atlantic influence according to Alex Milner. Aged in concrete eggs, it has a similarly pale colour to the Swartland bottling, raspberry and smokiness, ripe and lithe, a little more weight and texture here, but so lithe and fresh - and equally delicious.
(2016) Coastal region fruit, from granite-derived soils high in Darling. Lots of floral and cherry lift, a little smokiness and lovely direct and juicy stuff. There's almost a lavender or violet lift and the lively freshness runs to the finish. A simple wine in some ways, but delightful elegance and balance.
(2015) Only 11.2% alcohol here for a wine again fermented in concrete and this time aged on the lees for 12 months. Nice salty and apple character immediately, understated and not too flamboyant, on the palate bone dry with cool, running mountain stream clarity to the finish.
(2015) From a single grower, this is 60-year-old Cinsault. It has a beautiful cherry lips sweetie buoyancy with such superb juiciness and length, the pure, dry, nutty and small red fruit finesse. Arguably not his most 'serious' wine, but the genius is in its sheer drinkability.