Four nice SA reds: Restless River, Pofadder, La Motte Syrah Viognier, Spioenkop Pinotage

restless river

A few interesting South African reds tasted together. I’d heard a lot about the Restless River, and didn’t quite know what to make of it: Hemel-en-Aarde is cool climate for Cabernet, and the wine is pretty distinctive. Pofadder is a known quantity: it’s a lovely expression of Cinsault, a variety that’s superbly adapted to the Cape. I was really impressed by the La Motte Syrah Viognier, which shows beautiful perfume. And the Spioenkoop is a Pinotage that I’m happy to drink, with plenty of interest.

Restless River Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa
This is wild-ferment, and 33 days maceration. 13.7% alcohol. 33% new oak. A tiny bit lifted on the nose with lovely sweet blackcurrant fruit. Textured and fine with lovely breadth, and has a fine spiciness. Just a hint of funkiness, with a sweet fruit profile. It’s a very expressive wine, but not for everyone. 93/100

sadie pofadder

Sadie Family Pofadder 2012 Swartland, South Africa
14% alcohol, varietal Cinsault. Fresh, fine and juicy with some warmth and fine spiciness. Some elegance here, with red cherries. Finely spiced with nice texture. 92/100

la motte

La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2013 Western Cape, South Africa
Lovely floral nose of black cherries with a hint of olive and lovely pure sweet black fruits. Silky, textured and balanced, this is lovely. 93/100


Spioenkop ‘1900’ Pinotage 2013 Western Cape, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Full, with black cherries, herbs and a hint of greenness. This has some Pinotage character. It’s juicy, fine and expressive with red cherries and plums. Quite stylish. 90/100

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1 comment to Four nice SA reds: Restless River, Pofadder, La Motte Syrah Viognier, Spioenkop Pinotage

  • Interesting (non-wine) fact. Spioenkop gave its name to the football stand at Liverpool FC. It was the site of a battle in the Boer war, where many of the Liverpool regiment fell. The stand was named the ‘kop’ in ,memory of this event.

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