The new releases from Delaire Graff, a leading South African winery

south africa

The new releases from Delaire Graff, a leading South African winery

Morne Vrey
Morne Vrey

On my recent trip to South Africa, I had dinner at the lovely, super-luxurious Delaire Graff, preceded by a tasting with winemaker Morne Vrey and marketing manager Katherine Harris. Morne’s wines are just so consistent and pure, but they don’t lack personality. I’ve reviewed them before here. These are my new notes.

Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Western Cape, South Africa
This is 60% Olifants River, plus Durbanville and Darling. Very fresh with nice bright flavours of green pepper, pear and spice. Nice weight here with fresh fruit. Stylish. 89/00

Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc Coastal Cuvée 2014 Western Cape, South Africa
From Durbanville, Darling and Stellenbosch. 5% barrel fermented Semillon in the blend. Highly aromatic with fresh pear and citrus fruit. Floral and expressive with a bit of greennness. 90/100

Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2014 Swartland, South Africa
This is from a fantastic vineyard with coffeestone (koffieklip) soils, and 40% is fermented in 2500 litre foudres. ‘I want to move away from new wood,’ says winemaker Morne Vrey. Very fine with lovely pear and spice, showing nice restraint and lovely finesse. Bright acidity. 92/100

Delaire Graff Chardonnay Banghoek Reserve 2014 Stellenbosch, South Africa
‘This was a technical vintage, as they say in Bordeaux,’ states Morne Vrey. ‘But we have some awesome wines from 2014.’ Assertive spicy nose with some cedar notes, ripe pear and white peach. There’s a lovely texture to the palate, with sweet pear and peach fruit and subtle nuttiness. 92/100

Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rosé 2015 Western Cape, South Africa
This is purposely grown for rosé. Very lively, pure and fresh with nice zippiness. Juicy and vivid with pure citrus, pear and red cherry fruit. 89/100


Delaire Graff Sunrise Brut NV Western Cape, South Africa
This is 68% Chenin Blanc, 34% Chardonnay and 8% Cabernet Franc. It’s all from 2013 although it is badged NV. Herbs, spice and lovely citrus and pear fruit. Some peach and grape notes, with nice brightness, richness and complexity. Very stylish and interesting. 91/100

Delaire Graff The Terrace Block Reserve Chardonnay 2014 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Delaire has always been known for Chardonnay, and this is an 18 barrel lot from the farm. 4000 bottle production, retailing in SA at R450. Whole bunch pressed, no settling, straight to barrel, 40% new oak, no malo or battonage. Very fine and expressive with lovely clean fruit and spicy, mineral notes. Tight citrus and pear fruit. Superb. 94/100


Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2013 Stellenbosch, South Africa
45 000 bottles, retail R195. This is fresh and gravelly with lovely black cherry, plum and blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Linear, spicy and dense on the palate with lovely gravelly blackcurrant fruit. 93/100

Delaire Graff Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012 Stellenbosch, South Africa
A single-vineyard estate wine, 16 barrels, R450 retail. Dense but fresh with lovely structured black fruits and nice density. Real finesse, structure and freshness here. It’s still quite primary and tannic. 93/100

Delaire Graff Laurence Graff Reserve 2012 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. 1400 bottles are made: its a barrel selection that is then aged a further 6 months in cask. 60% new oak. Powerful and spicy with lovely dense black fruits. Has some generosity but also lovely spicy structure, and hints of olive and herbs. Lovely finesse. 95/100

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wine journalist and flavour obsessive

One thought on “The new releases from Delaire Graff, a leading South African winery

  1. Not sure how I feel about your change of photography style. I always thought that your colour photos of producers was rather good, with the subject taking centre stage – you seem to have an admirable ability to capture people’s personalities. Not so convinced by the B&W, especially as some of the lighter tones seem a bit washed out which seems to be a limitation of digital compared to film. For my money that distracts a bit from the personalities… subjective opinion of course.

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