Now this took me by surprise. It was a sample that appeared one day, and I had no idea of where it was from or what it was, or how much it cost. So I tasted it, with just the back-label information to fall back on. And I was really nicely surprised. It’s a serious South African red blend, made by David Trafford who bought the land in 2004 with some colleagues, and formed the Malagas Wine Company to market the wines. This is the first release. There’s some good information on the project here on the De Trafford website. The vineyards are a long way from anywhere, on the Breede River, with the nearest region probably Elim towards the coast.
Sijnn 2007 Swellendam, South Africa
14.5% alcohol. From slate and stone soil, this is a blend of Shiraz (42%), Mourvedre (26%), Touriga Nacional (21%), Trincadeira (10%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (1%). Deep coloured. This has a lovely, brooding, sweetly fruited nose with some mineral and spice notes, as well as a bit of meat and olive. The palate is quite smooth-textured with a serious minerality: chalky and gravelly with nice acidity, as well as blackberry, plum and dark cherry fruit. Ripe, but there’s more than a touch of the old world here. 93/100 (£17.75 Bibendum)