(2021) This is a Cabernet in a depp-set, ripe and opulent black fruit style. There's a fruit-skin savouriness and depth as well as espresso grounds and cocoa. Super sweet, mouth-coating blackcurrant fruit, plenty of tang of black plum and cherry skins and fresh, biting tannins. Acidity is good, adding extra freshness and there is something just a touch herby in the background which adds some light to the shade of the sonorous black fruit. Big, powerful stuff.
(2019) Sourced from old vines in Paardeberg, Paarl, close to the Swartland border, this is organic Shiraz, 80% whole bunch-pressed. This has juiciness and jammy ripe fruit character to loads of chocolate richness and ripeness. So bold and full flavoured, smooth tannins and acidity, and another cracking wine.
(2019) From vneyards in Paardeberg. Bright cherry lips and candy floss, backed up with Grenache dry nuttiness, complex, the oak toasty beneath and a touch of meat. The racy acidity is glorious on the palate, savoury orange, Aperol orangey bitters, peppery spice then excellent red fruit. Lovely freshness and cherry brightness.
(2019) From Paarl vineyards on the Swartland border. A more creamy, slightly more plush character, though that is from the vineyard and lees, as there’s no oak influence here. There is such lovely sweet sweet, ripe apple and pear, but like the Chenin/Verdelho, there is such freshness, running mountain stream clarity to the acid and mouthfeel. Plenty of spice, herby characters and a touch of tensioning tannin.
(2019) From bush vines planted in 1956, this was whole bunch pressed, only the free run juice was used for natural fermentation in 3rd-fill French oak barrels. Natural style, with that hint of funk and light earthiness, lightly nutty. Lots of sour and juicy apple. Very nice fruit that becomes sweet like Mandarin and even nectarine, fully ripe, but that dry savoury acidity punches through and balances beautifully.
(2016) From Paarl based Tim Martin Wines, a new name for the UK, this ramps up the solid and sweet fruit intensity over their 'Chad' Chenin Blanc bottling, a satiny white with great freshness and lusciousness, more texture and roundness than the Chad, but pin sharp with focused acidity in the finish.
(2013) Grenache, Carignan, Shiraz, the first two old bush vines, from Swartland and towards Wellington, Shiraz from Philadelphia. A little baked and leathery on the nose, a little nutty note, then good fruit comes through, black and red fruits but very solid. A touch of meatiness. Lots of full, confiture sweetness on the palate, a chocolaty richness and juicy quality, a big raft of savoury, racy fruit despite the big-scaled quality of this wine.
(2013) Paarl fruit. Fresh cassis and black cherry, not too much oak on the nose, but there is a subtle pencil-shaving/smokiness and touch of chocolate. The palate has full fruit sweetness, quite a nice elegant cherry edge and chocolate note, but then an awful lot of slightly raw oak dominates the palate, with the wine finishing on oak spice and tannin dryness.
(2013) 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc from within Paarl. A little bit of woodiness and smoky oak at first, a touch of cedar. Quite an intense fruit beneath, with the palate nicely juicy and fresh - much more fruit focused than the Manor House, the spiciness is there and those plum skin bittersweet notes, but the fruit drives through melding with spice and a touch of chocolate to add depth to the finish. Lovely stuff.
(2013) 50% Sangiovese, 45% Barbera, 5% Nebbiolo. Fermented separately and into old 500l barrels, then after a year it is blended and back into barrels for a few months, mostly Romanian with a touch of American. Does capture the lighter cherry character of these grapes, with a smoothing infill of vanilla, and a touch of the Sangiovese tobacco in the background. The palate has lovely texture: it is creamy and quite plush, but medium-bodied and has a sense of red and black fruit to give a little freshness. Is the oak a little too charry just in the finish? But then the juicy cherry acidity is excellent and it finishes long and focused on fruit. Very good and will age, power but supple precision.