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Blake’s Amethyst 2011

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Family affair.
Family affair.

Blake Family Wines is the own-label venture started by Andries and Marinda Blake, Andries formerly cellarmaster of Swartland Winery and CEO of Klawer Wine Cellar since late last year. The label features an oak tree which “pays homage to the belief among the Blake vintners that [such a tree] and a traditional Cape Dutch wine farm are synonymous” and volumes are small: only 450 cases of the Tourmaline 2013 and 295 cases of Amethyst 2011were bottled.

Blake’s Tourmaline 2013
Price: R120
40% unoaked Chenin Blanc, the rest equal parts Chardonnay and Viognier, both fermented in 300-litre barrels. Generally rather neutral – a delicate floral note on the nose before a palate which shows vague citrus and peach plus gentle spice. Thankfully not too thick textured or sweet but comes across as a little staid.

Score: 86/100.

Blake’s Amethyst 2011
Price: R220
45% Shiraz, 35% Pinotage and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Matured for 24 months in 100% new oak. A carefully crafted wine with an expressive nose showing some floral fragrance, red and black fruit (plums, strawberry, cassis) plus attractive oak-derived spice. Rich but not short of freshness, the tannins very smooth – perhaps could do with more grip.

Score: 88/100.

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