With a series of awards and a trophy cupboard which, it’s fair to say, is more along the lines of Barcelona than Birmingham City this is a truly impressive line-up. Stars of the show were the ridiculously pretty, The Emily, a Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend that just cries out to be drunk, a delicate, beautifully balanced 2015 Chardonnay, the truly exceptional, Bordeaux style, Eklipika 2014 – widely regarded as one of the country’s finest reds and, for me the real surprise – Pinotage 2015 – it’s Pinotage Jim but not as we know it; bright, full of sweet red fruit and not a trace of burnt rubber in sight.
Currently in conversion to organic viticulture, Longridge are fast becoming one of the Cape’s most highly regarded wineries. Since we visited in February, Neal Martin’s Wine Advocate notes and scores have been released with seven of their wines receiving 90+ ratings; no surprises that these include Clos du Ciel and Ekliptika but what has really delighted us is the 92 points awarded to the Pinotage 2015 which he describes as “outstanding” and the 90 points for the “regular” Chardonnay.
Winemaker Jasper Raats spent a number of years in New Zealand notably working with our friends Henri Bourgeois at Clos Henri before returning to South Africa in 2006. Not sure whether it’s the French influence, Kiwi inspiration or Afrikaaner experience but this is a phenomenal range of wines.
A fresh wine with a lovely hue, bursting with aromas of ripe guava, pineapple, kiwi, green apple and a hint of strawberry, ending with a well-balanced acidity and a lingering finish.
Distinct notes of minerality, combined beautifully with citrus and lime aromas on the nose are complemented by shortbread and dessert peaches on the palate, ending in a refreshing, lingering and perfectly balanced finish.
A medium bodied wine with a savoury nose and slight cedar characters. Ripe, yet soft tannins complement the aromas of plump dark, red fruit and ripe strawberries with a hint of dark chocolate and cocoa on the nose.
Citronella and lemongrass aromatics envelop more subtle primary fruit that include peach skin and naartjie peel. Then also hints of vanilla, baked apple, marzipan and honey. The palate possesses verve and savoury grip, with elements of crushed river pebble, rock salt and flint, but also a grainy, pithy textural element akin to walnut and hard pear. There is real weight and mouth-filling substance, even at 12,5% ABV with complexity gained from lees contact and completely integrated oak. Bone dry, savoury finish.
A toasty marmalade, pineapple, lime and honey nougat character on the nose gives way to a fresh acidity on the mid pallet ending, in a long lingering finish, with tropical fruits and charry vanilla.
Dark and concentrated in colour, this wine greets you on the nose with aromas of ripe red fruits, plums and pencil shavings which follow through onto the palate with chewy black cherries, sweet spices and tannins on the mid palate. The wine ends with a lingering umami finish.
Single vineyard wine from the Helderberg region with notes of cinnamon and sweet spices. Barrel matured with ripe yet soft tannin.
4 * – John Platter Wine Guide 2017, South Africa; Top 100 SA Wine Awards; 93/100 Robert Parker – Wine Advocate 2017; Top 100 & Double Platinum Awards 2017
The grapes from the Helderberg region stem from an old vine block dating back to 1974. Aromatic on the nose, yet soft and smooth on the palate. Lightly tinted and medium bodied, this wine greets you on the nose with aromatic floral notes which follow through onto the palate with ripe strawberries, cherries, sweet spices and soft tannins on the mid palate.
NEW RELEASE 92/100 Tim Atkin MW 2017; 4 ½ * – Platter Wine Guide 2018
A single vineyard Pinot Noir from the cool Elgin region near Grabouw. Elegant and light in style, with an abundance of ripe red berries, juicy strawberries and subtle spices on the nose which follow through on the palate where it marries perfectly with a savoury meatiness.