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Paserene new releases

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Martin Smith, who worked at Vilafonté before starting his own label called Paserene, now has Ndabe Mareda has an investor and a tasting room and cellar was recently completed in Franschhoek (see an album of the launch function here). Tasting notes and ratings for the 2015s and 2016s as follows:

Paserene Chardonnay 2015
The waiting’s over.

Paserene Chardonnay 2015
Price: R350

From Elgin. Matured for 16 months in French oak, 30% new. Pear, citrus, some yeasty complexity and vanilla on the nose. Rich and relatively broad with a gently savoury finish.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

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Paserene Chardonnay 2016
To be released in early 2018.

From Elgin. Matured for 16 months in French oak, 30% new. A hint of reduction before blossom, lime and lemon. Pure fruit, fresh acidity and a pithy finish. Clean and correct, this is still very primary.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

Paserene Union 2015
Price: R350

From Tulbagh. 51% Syrah, 36% Carignan and 15% Mourvèdre. 100% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured for 16 months in older French oak barrels. Red and black fruit, lilies and fynbos. Medium bodied with fresh acidity and crunchy tannins. That much more open and easy to like than some six months ago.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

Paserene Union 2016
To be released in early 2018.

From Tulbagh. 44% Syrah, 34% Carignan and 22% Mourvèdre. 100% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured for 16 months in older French oak barrels. A hint of reduction before black fruit, earth and spice. Rich and full with dense fruit and chewy tannins.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

Paserene Marathon 2015
Price: R350

51% Petit Verdot from Stellenbosch, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon from Tulbagh and 7% Carménère from Darling. Matured for 22 months in French oak, 60% new. Red and black fruit, fresh herbs and some attractive oak character. Juicy and fresh with fine tannins, the finish gently savoury.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

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Paserene Marathon 2016
To be released in early 2018.

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Petit Verdot and 5% Carménère, all from Tulbagh. Matured for 22 months in French oak, 60% new. Black fruit, vanilla and spice on the nose. Plenty of dense, seemingly sweet fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins – the extraction is handled well making for a luxuriously styled wine.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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