In South Africa: new releases from Craven, Intellego and Hogan

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In South Africa: new releases from Craven, Intellego and Hogan

Mick and Jeanine Craven

Caught the end of yesterday’s Ex Animo trade tasting in Cape Town, after a long day’s judging wine. And in the short time available, managed to try new releases from Craven, Intellego and Hogan. These are three very exciting producers.

craven firs

Of the 2015s, Mick Craven says, ‘if you didn’t make good wine in 2015, you should probably quit.’

Craven Clairette Blanche 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This has a bit more skin contact than last year’s. It shows bright citrus fruit with lovely detail and freshness. A super wine. 93/100

Craven Pinot Gris 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa
7/8 days skin contact has given this a pink colour. Detailed and lively with some herby notes, as well as pear and cherry fruit, along with some rich grapey notes. Really focused and distinctive. 93/100

Craven Faure Vineyard Syrah 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Lively fresh red cherry fruit with some pepper notes and an expressive, juicy personality. Fresh with sweet cherries and plums, showing restraint but also some ripe characters. 12.4% alcohol this year – up a little bit! 94/100

Craven Firs Vineyard Syrah 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa
A new wine in 2015. This vineyard has dark, rich iron/clay soils. These heavy red soils are quite vigorous, but this wine is thrilling. Bright black cherry fruit with nice freshness and a silky texture. Really pure and fine. 94/100



Jurgen Gouws (intellego) with Donovan Rall
Jurgen Gouws (intellego) with Donovan Rall

Intellego Chenin Blanc 2014 Swartland, South Africa
A lovely Chenin combining richness and complexity. Textured and fresh with rich pear and apple fruit. Very fine. 93/100

Intellego Rosé 2015 Swartland, South Africa
Lovely weight: textured, smooth and very fine grained with hints of cherry and some pear fruit. Broad and lovely. 91/100


Intellego Kedungu 2015 Swartland, South Africa
Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. Fine and expressive with a lovely meat and olive edge to the black cherry fruit. Has a real smoothness awith some peppery notes on the finish. Smashable and brilliant for the price. 93/100


Intellego Syrah 2015 Swartland, South Africa
Lovely fresh vivid olive, black pepper, raspberry and blackberry characters. Some cherries too. Vivid with a bright peppery edge. Brilliant. 95/100

Intellego Kolbroek 2013 Swartland, South Africa
Vivid, juicy and bright with nice sappy red cherry and berry fruits, as well as some black cherry. Fresh, sappy and delicious. 93/100

Jocelyn Hogan Wilson
Jocelyn Hogan Wilson

Hogan Chenin Blanc 2015 Swartland, South Africa
From a cooler site (southeast facing), this is quite brilliant. Textured pear, citrus and apple fruit with depth of flavour but also nice freshness. Give this a couple of years and it will be amazing. 93/100

Hogan Divergent 2015 Western Cape, South Africa
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan, this is a Stellenbosch/Wellington blend. It’s fresh with nice vivid sweet cherry and plum fruit. Nicely textured this is fine and expressive with lovely purity. Really fine. 94/100

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4 Comments on In South Africa: new releases from Craven, Intellego and HoganTagged
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

4 thoughts on “In South Africa: new releases from Craven, Intellego and Hogan

  1. We’ve just taken delivery of some of the 2014 Hogan – can’t wait to get our hands on the 2015’s and try some Divergent.
    Exciting times for New Wave South Africa indeed

  2. Jamie
    Just read your piece @nomacorc on natural wine. I’m a ltttle confused (not infrequently). In my own research Natural Wine Part 1 every organizing body including RAW, AVN, Renaissance etc. recognize organic and biodynamic farming as THE absolute prerequisite for inclusion in the natural club. I know there are many organic growers who are minimalists in the cellar who don’t give a fig about natural status but I can’t think of one who claims to be natural who doesn’t grow or purchase organic fruit. There’s a first for everything I suppose but to my mind you’ve just thrown more chaos over the question what is natural wine?
    Dennis Lapuyade

  3. I enjoyed reading about South African wines. You’ve inspired me to get out and drink wines from South Africa. To date, I have tasted few of these wines. Thank you for including the link to wine-searcher so I can located the wines.

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