I’ve been in South Africa for one afternoon and a sleep, and already I have much that I want to report on, but for starters I will talk about two exciting new white wines that I have tasted. I had them at dinner last night with Reneen Borman and Gavin Bruwer.
The first is from Reneen, and it’s a Chenin from a small vineyard in Montagu which he was tipped off about by Chris Alheit. It’s called Patatsfontein, which refers to the fact that this used to be a sweet potato farm. The wine is a collaboration between Reneen, Henk Kotze and Fritz Schoon, and it’s amazingly pure. It was made at Reneen’s place, Boschkloof. The property is owned by Fritz’ father in law, but most of the grapes are sold off under contract to the local co-op.
Patatsfontein Chenin Blanc 2014 Montagu, South Africa
Montagu is past Robertson, at the start of the Karoo, and warm days are followed by cool nights. Soils are schist/slate. Very fresh, fine and pure with lovely acidity. Detailed, taut and mineral with fine fennel notes and hints of quince. Textural and fine with lovely purity and precision. 93/100
The second is from B Vintners, a new project that’s a collaboration between Gavin Bruwer and cousin Bruwer Raats that badges itself as a vine exploration company. They want to tell the story of the heritage of South African wine through single site wines. This is a sensational wine.
B Vintners Haarlem to Hope 2014 Stellenbosch, South Africa
54% Chenin Blanc, 42% Semillon, 4% Muscat. 13% alcohol. Complex, fine and spicy with fine pear and white peach fruit. Ripe but still balanced and focused with notes of ginger and lemongrass in the background. Lovely complexity, detail and purity, with potential for development. 94/100