I met up with Ryan Mostert (above right) and Michael Roets (above left) to drink wine. Ryan was until recently assistant winemaker at Reyneke, and with his partner Sam recently moved to the Swartland. There, he’s teamed up with Michael to work on a new project, Avant Garde Wines.
They’ve been scouting top vineyard sites, and will be making around 14 different wines each vintage, although no Avant Garde wines have yet been released. Ryan has been working on them since the 2014 vintage, which was made at Reyneke. They’ll be moving to another winery for the 2015, probably in the Perdeberg.
These wines are from Avant Garde, released under the label Silvervis, and they were made at Chris and Andrea Mullineux’s winery in the Swartland. Michael bought the Nomblot concrete egg that was auctioned off at the 2010 Swartland revolution, and also the one that was auctioned in 2011, so a good portion of these wines was egg fermented. They’re lovely wines. The NV Smiley is a steal at around 65 Rand, and the Silvervis pair are also a bargain, at R250.
Smiley Chenin Blanc NV Swartland, South Africa
12.6% alcohol. 30% 2012 wine made in a concrete egg, 70% 2013 tank fermented. Sweet, rounded and full with fresh ripe apples and nice citrus bite, as well as some pear and peach richness. Lively and ripe with nice complexity. 91/100
Silvervis Chenin Blanc 2012 Swartland, South Africa
12.9% alcohol, 85% concrete egg, 15% barrel. Sweet, ripe apple and pear fruit. Generous texture and lovely mouthfeel. Rich and bold but also has finesse. Bright with lovely balance and nice pear, peach and citrus fruit. 93/100
Silvervis Cinsault 2013 Swartland, South Africa
Very fresh and bright with supple raspberry and cherry fruit. Bright and expressive with focused cherry fruit. Fine, fresh and pure with some peppery notes. Amazing freshness and purity here. 93/100