We might not be the kind of winery that (takes time to) stick medals and awards on our wines or hang certificates on our walls (too much taxidermy and too many Tintin posters to put up!) but it is kind of nice to hear what experts think of our wines.
Experts like James Molesworth from the Wine Spectator. And so it was rather lekker to get these two ratings / write ups via our US distributors, in our inboxes last night.
Brightly defined, with delicious quince, persimmon and green almond notes forming a core that is threaded with quinine and white ginger details. A light touch of toast on the finish lets the fruit and minerality play out. Drink now through 2019. 15,000 cases made.
White peach, yellow apple, heather and verbena notes are still tightly coiled at the core, while makrut lime and racy chamomile hints streak through the finish. This has purity and depth, and should unwind well in the cellar. Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Verdelho, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Sémillon, Marsanne and Palomino. Best from 2018 through 2022. 500 cases made.
Matthew Jukes, considered by many to be the most influential wine writer in the UK, turns his attention to South African wine after confessing “Are you, like me, one of those people who doesn’t really get South African wine? … Well, it is time to think again because this mindset is completely and utterly outdated. “
He visited the Cape winelands, and the Swartland, in June and give a very insightful report on the current and future state of SA wine industry.
As he explains: “There is a very strong identity building in South Africa right now surrounding what other countries term ‘Young Guns’. Young Guns are, by way of explanation, not necessarily young people, but they have a fresh, international view, and often a wide skill-set, which is rare in the wine business. They also happen to be the people with their names or brands on the label. They usually operate out of smaller wineries, often having quit large corporate wine companies, and they almost always enjoy instant, mini-cult status on release of their own wines, assuming that they stack up. South Africa hasn’t had many YGs until recently.”
He then goes on to claim:
“Adi Badenhorst’s departure from Rustenberg signalled a spiritual downsizing for ambitious dudes to do their own thing. This is happening in droves and I would venture to say that this movement is very close to becoming the single most important defining factor when it comes to South Africa’s vinous image abroad.”
He mentions more of our Swartland neighbours and fellow Revolutionaries, you know, Sadie, the Mullineuxs, Lammershoek and more.
We would recommend you Read more here as the article is very well written and insightful.
He also rates our AA Badenhorst, Secateurs White, Swartland, 2010 17/20 4 stars 13.5%
“One of a trio of marvellous entry level wines, Adi’s white is a wickedly priced and spankingly attractive wine. With Chenin Blanc core it loads more complexity than any other rival at this price. Watch out for a 2010 red and 2011 rosé coming soon. Drink now – 2012 £9.95 Swig”
Wine Advocate, probably the most influential publication in the world of wine, Neal Martin recently visited some wineries in South Africa, and he’s just released his report online yesterday!
Some notes from his report on South African wine in general:
“The aim of this report is to suggest where South Africa is going right (and trust me, it is going right in far more places than I anticipated) and where it is going wrong. I hope to convince both the uninitiated and the skeptics of the heights that their greatest wines are achieving and the potential for the future. Perhaps most importantly in these straightened times, I hope you will be convinced that a vast number of South African wines offer exceptional quality for the price.” –N.M
“The greatest potential in my opinion, comes from the Rhône based blends, from Shiraz, Grenache and to a lesser extent, Mourvèdre. One can see the climactic parallels between the Rhône Valley and areas of South Africa such as Swartland. The top wines from the likes of Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst, Alex Starey and Mark Kent, to name but a few, are magnificent.” – N.M
We are happy to share these tasting notes and ratings with you today:
From best to ‘worst’ (if 87 points is bad…)
2008 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Noble Late Harvest – 93pts
2007 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Red – 93pts – a very natural, beautifully defined bouquet of dark berries, a dash of white pepper and garrigue that you would swear comes from some rocky outcrop in the Rhone. The palate has really coalesced since I tasted the 2007 in its youth: very fine tannins, wonderful balance and freshness with great tension. There are dark berries, tertiary notes, white pepper, fennel and a slight salty tang on the mid-palate that leads to a very focused finish. It will age over 8-10 years with ease. Drink now-2020
2009 A A Badenhorst Family Wines White – 92pts – blend of around ten white varieties that Adi tried his best to remember. We got as far as Chenin Blanc, Grenache Gris, Palomino, Clairette and Semillon, but we might have been there all day. The striking thing about the nose is the definition, for the 2009 shows greater precision than the 2008, whilst the Palomino does indeed impart a sherry-like tincture. The palate is supremely well balanced and demonstrates greater tension and vibrancy than the 2008, as if the grapes are working together, moving in the same direction. It is very focused on the finish and should age beautifully. Drink now-2016+.
NV A A Badenhorst Family Wines Funky White Blend – 91pts –Adi has provisionally named his Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier non-vintage blend “Funky White.” Blended with eight other varieties and aged under flor but not fortified and with a blend of four different vintages, it has a striking nose that you will either love or hate?Jura meets Swartland perhaps? The palate is very well balanced with a smooth texture and is not as oxidized as the nose implies. Apricot, lemon rind, honeycomb and walnut furnish the poised finish. This evinces individualistic winemaking, but the bottom line is that it tastes good and it tastes “cerebral.” Drink now-2015+.
2010 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Red Blend – 90pts – ripe raspberry, blackberry and wild hedgerow on the nose that is well defined and very natural. The palate is medium-bodied, supple on the entry with juicy bright red berries, raspberry, red currant and has a touch of citrus peel lending freshness and vitality. Drink now-2013
2010 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Chenin Blanc – 89pts – fresh, vibrant bouquet with orange blossom, Clementine and pressed white flowers. The palate is clean on the entry with a very natural feel. It is underpinned by racy acidity and light flavours of lemon peel, melon and honeysuckle that dovetail towards a refined, refreshing finish. For its price, this comes highly recommended. Drink now-2015.
2011 A A Badenhorst Family Wines Secateurs Rose – 87pts –A blend of Cinsault, Shiraz and Grenache with grapes pressed together, the 2011 Secateurs Rose has a lifted, vibrant fresh bouquet with touches of red cherry, rose petals and lime. The palate is well balanced, fresh and vibrant with a little more tannic “grip” than other South African roses. Whilst not a complex wine, it is well made and as fresh as a daisy. Drink now.
That is an average of 90 – better than any of us ever did at academics… School is overrated anyway… Just don’t tell Samuel… 😉