Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar takes its name from the low-water bridge crossing the Breede River on the Van der Merwe family farm outside Worcester. The property is 7 000ha in size, 410ha under vineyard with medical doctor Alvi and former Distell head winemaker Linley Schultz heading up winemaking.
Pinotage is claimed as a specialty and the ultra-premium version that is the Verreaux 2013 is a singular take on the variety. Including 15% Petit Verdot and matured for 22 months in 100% new French and American oak, it sells for R450 a bottle.
All that time in oak means that the wine doesn’t trade off primary fruit and instead it comes across as particularly savoury. The nose is complex with notes of dried herbs, earth, vanilla and cinnamon to go with red cherries and plums while the palate is not too full bodied with fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins, the finish long and almost salty in character. A nice vinosity about it and worth seeking out for lovers of the grape that is South Africa’s very own.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
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