Cape Wine (4) some more very exciting wines: Rall, Leeu Passant, Loggerenberg, Kanonkop, Badenhorst

Some more thrilling wines tasted at Cape Wine. For me, these are very high ratings indeed!

Leeu Passant Chardonnay 2016 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Andrea Mullineux is trying to make this Chardonnay in an older, saltier style. She describes the winemaking as ‘death and resurrection’, and she allows juice hyperoxidation with no sulfites present, and then allows the wine to oxidise a bit again after fermentation. This is the death. Then the redox potential changes during the ageing and the wine ends up salty. ‘You need cajones,’ she says. ‘it’s a winemaking style, but you need a spectacular vineyard to be able to make this style.’ With the second vintage of Leeu Passant, they’ve gone down to just one Chardonnay from a vineyard in the Helderberg planted in 1980 at 400 metres. It’s fine, linear and salty with a mineral edge. Some pear and citrus pith notes. So focused , with lovely citrus fruit and good natural acidity, as well as some nice graininess. 96/100

Leeu Passant Dry Red Wine 2016 Western Cape, South Africa
This includes some of the oldest vineyards in the Cape. Two Cinsault blocks, planted in 1900 and 1932 make up 30% of the blend. Then there’s Cabernet Sauvignon from a mother block in Stellenbosch, and some Cabernet Franc also from Stellenbosch. The Cinsault and Cabernet Franc are done whole bunch. This is intensely floral and fine with lovely blackcurrant and red cherry fruit. The palate is fresh and focused, and really expressive, with fine tannins. Good structure and freshness with amazing precision and purity. This has a long life ahead of it but it’s delicious now. 96/100

Rall AVA 2017 Swartland, South Africa
This, for me, is the best new-release South African red wine I have tried to date. It comes from a schist-dominated vineyard (the same one Donovan Rall sources his Chenin from) that looks a bit like Priorat! The drought on the schist was horrible, and he had yields of 6-7 hl/ha from this 2.5 hectare block. The wine shows interesting, aromatic, floral black fruits. It’s concentrated and bold and tannic but also really fresh. Astonishing concentration and purity with hits of meat, olives, spice and pepper. Thrilling. 97/100

Van Loggerenberg Wines Graft 2017 Stellenbosch, South Africa
55% Cinsaut, 45% Syrah from the Polkadraai. 100% whole bunch then matured in old oak. Vivid, floral and peppery on the nose. Amazing perfume with notes of olives and herbs. Complex and vital with some garrigue-like notes, coupled with lots of pure fruit. Quite amazing. 96/100

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1995 Stellenbosch, South Africa
A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, aged 24 months in French oak, 60% new. This has aged very well. Aromatic blackcurrant fruit with spicy framing on the nose. Lovely concentration on the palate, with lots of fruit still, showing berry notes, fine spices and real elegance. This is a simply made wine that has emerged so well from its youthful rusticity, and is now singing. 96/100

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, matured for two years in entirely new oak. Concentrated, taut and spicy with some real grip to the blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, supported by fresh acidity. There’s a compact, primary character to the black fruits with firm structure. The winemaking is still evident, but it would be daft to drink this now. Hide it in the cellar for at least a decade. 94/100

Badenhorst Family Wines Ramnasgras Cinsault 2017 Swartland, South Africa
Adi Badenhorst says that he loves Cinsault, and is planting more. This is a stunner. Grippy and peppery with lovely weight. It has intensity with raspberries, cherries and plums and some spiciness. Real concentration here. Smashable yet serious with lovely detail and complexity. 95/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

3 comments to Cape Wine (4) some more very exciting wines: Rall, Leeu Passant, Loggerenberg, Kanonkop, Badenhorst

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*