(2019) Masterminded by David Hohnen, this wine was made for Sainsbury's using the combined output of eight wineries in Western Australia. It's a big (14.5% abv) and bold style, a touch meaty to dense black fruit on the nose, but not hugely aromatic. There's more sweetness from the black fruit on the palate, but it all seems a touch over-extracted to me, the finish a little tart and abrupt. Not a favourite wine from a producer I hold in high regard, but I guess it was designed to a price-point.
(2019) This wine, made from 17-year-old vines in Stellenbosch, was matured for 22 months in 300 litre French oak (85% new). Silky and ripe Cabernet, such lovely graphite and delicate cedar on the nose edging the deep pool of supple black fruit. Fabulously sweet cassis, polished tannins, great black cherry acidity and such a long, deliciously svelte wine. World class Cabernet Sauvignon.
(2019) This wine spent 12 months in 300 and 500-litre French oak barrels, 10% new. The fruit comes from Stellebosch and Paarl, and the main component is Syrah (53%), the oldest is 25-year-old bush vine Cinsault (19%). It is meaty and has a touch of cool climate herbaceous lift, pepper, spice and a bright overall picture. Lovely texture and ripe succulent damson and berries. The finish is rich with tobacco and spice, but such a solid fruit concentration.
(2019) 25-year-old bush vines here, and the blend is 40% unoaked, the rest was aged in large French barrels. Lovely colour again, aromas slightly meatier, coffee-touched, but that exotic spice and floral perfume does come through. A richer, sweeter, more rounded fruit character than the Naudé Cinsault tasted alongside, but once again the acid is glorious, spices and bright red fruits into the finish.
(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 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) 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) A really fruity and deep Cab Franc from Elgin, aged in older French oak. Silky deep fruit, fabulous black fruit depth with a touch of resinous, almost Porty ripeness and lift, but has lots of umami savoury character, and such a svelte, sweet finish and silky texture. Also tasted was the 2016, which was perfumed and dark, with a bittersweet cocoa slickness. Possibly one point better.
(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 smilarly 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.
(2019) Pronounced 'Natty Falay' according to winemaker Alex, this 12.5% Pinot comes from dryland bush vines planted in 1986. Aged in 2500-litre foudres. Bright and delicate colour. Delightful coffee-touched nose, a beautiful natural sense of concentration to the rounded fruit. The palate has a lovely leafiness to the cherry fruit. Long and delicious.