Old Vines White Blend 2019
A pretty stunning example of what happens when the old brandy gang get together, these once ubiquitous blending components for brandy production in years gone past have come into their own and have that special old vine something. Chenin is the major component in this wine, along with some seasoning from clairette blanche, viognier, grenache blanc and sémillon gris. The grapes were sourced from seven vineyard parcels in different parts of the Swartland. Candied lemon peel, cloves, poached white pear and quince with an ethereal note of honeysuckle and hints of fresh pastry weave together for a complex, enticing nose. These threads are pulled into a tapestry of bright lemony citrus, ripe pear and peach with a stony undercurrent and almond-like finish. Set to get more waxy and textural as it ages.
Thorne & Daughters
Tin Soldier 2018
100% sémillon gris from a six-year-old vineyard, established from cuttings taken from an adjacent vineyard of sémillon, which was planted in 1964. 70% of the fruit was skin fermented for 10 days and 30% was whole-bunch pressed. Interestingly, all of the names in the Thorne & Daughters range come from archetypal children’s toys. The Tin Soldier is a reference to sémillon’s status as the old foot soldier of the South African wine industry. Heady jasmine tea and rose petal freshness abound on the perfumed nose; this floral cascade is underscored by chalky, saline oyster shell and subtle dried thyme. Ripe dessert peaches, tart apricot and crunchy red apple evolve on the palate. Offering fine-boned structure and phenolic grip, it lies on the palate like a red wine with some textural grape tannin from the skin contact, while a pithy, tingling acidity leads to a honeyed finish.
The vineyards for the Damascene Franschhoek Sémillon 2018 were planted in 1942 and 1962, with the majority of the fruit coming from the latter. A blend of blanc and gris, bright aromatics of fresh citrus and white blossom peel off to reveal layers of honeyed stone fruit as well as a dense, savoury lanolin note. The palate is creamy and round with pithy grapefruit joining apricot and peach at its crystalline core. The acidity is a taut line, along which crushed stone and smoky roasted hazelnut stretch into a lengthy, oily finish.