Three brilliant Swartland wines from Mount Abora

chenin blanc cinsault south africa

Three brilliant Swartland wines from Mount Abora

mount abora koggelbos

Here we have three brilliant Swartland wines from Mount Abora. They are really compelling, made with low alcohol in a natural way, with lots of interest. They are also living wines, that continue to evolve in the glass, and even overnight in the bottle: I visited them a number of times over a couple of days. UK agent is Indigo Wines.

Mount Abora Koggelbos Chenin Blanc 2012 Swartland, South Africa12.5% alcohol. Full yellow colour. Sweet pear and toast nose with some ripe apple/apple pie notes. The palate is all stone fruit and minerals, with lively spiciness and some honeyed richness. There’s good acidity and a nice tension here, as well as the richer notes. A serious Chenin with nice depth, and the good news is that it’s even better on day 2. 94/100


Mount Abora Saffraan Cinsaut 2014 Swartland, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. The label says that this ‘harks back to the times of bright, luminous wines,’ and ‘the beauty of honest and elegant wines.’ I like it a lot. Slightly nervy, natural nose of bright red apples, spices, herbs, red cherries and raspberries. The palate is pure and lovely with fresh raspberries, some spice and tangy acidity. Very fresh, pure and detailed: fully ripe but with lovely grip and finesse. There’s also a hint of sappy greenness. This is lovely on day 2, too. 93/100

Mount Abora The Abyssinian 2012 Swartland, South Africa
47% Mourvedre, 32% Cinsault, 21% Shiraz. 12.5% alcohol. A monumental red, all reductive and closed in on itself initially, but which opens out beautifully. It’s juicy, bright, grippy and dense with a peppery, tannic Mourvedre character and fresh black fruits. Grippy and firm with raspberry and black cherry, as well as plums and some damson bitterness. Complex and taut. 94/100

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11 thoughts on “Three brilliant Swartland wines from Mount Abora

  1. Yes, they’re special wines. I’ve had a sneak peak at the upcoming 2013 Koggelbos and 2013 Abyssinian and they continue to impress. The Koggelbos especially shows a real sense of place – a wine that, once you’ve tasted it, gives you a fair chance to spot thereafter in blind tastings. From the maiden 2011 to the 2013, there’s a real common and distinctive thread running through the wines. They offer top value in South Africa, which would probably make them dirt cheap in most other countries.

  2. will they age though ? Guess to the vast majority of drinkers,that is not relevant. Always worried about these so called “natural” wines as worried whether they are “drink up quick” wines.
    Now if they are so called natural like Mullineux then fine.
    Natural to me is just a marketing gimmick 🙂 unless you mean the nutters who use hardly any sulpher

  3. Keith, I have a case of the Koggelbos’ first release left and had a bottle last week. Don’t crack your skull over aging, it does just fine.

  4. Fine Joe, Well I have just bought a couple of cases and will test them over next few years. At the price the wine is bring sold here in SA,its a no brainer

  5. Jamie, spoke with Indigo and actually they are not the importer – do you know who is in fact?

  6. David, you can seemingly buy the Koggelbos and Antebellum Chenins on Amazon of all places, as a 3 pack (no commercial interest etc here) for £55 and £43 respectively.
    I was looking to use them at our wine tastings but no importer/distributor was listed on their website for the UK

  7. David, James Doidge at Wine Treasury will gladly sell you a maiden vintage Mount Abora Koggelbos Chenin Blanc 2011 – to give you an idea of our style. Please send me your details to as I would like to keep you in the loop regarding the other wines. PS Recently, we had a bottle of 2011 and it was as fresh as an autumn morning on the Kasteel mountain next to Riebeek Kasteel!

  8. Gudfish Import will soon land all three Mount Abora wines in the UK. Contact Bobby Fischel ( Thor Gudmundsson (

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