The wines of Upper Hemel-en-Aarde property Restless River, despite much local and international acclaim, have not fared that well in Winemag.co.za’s blind panel tastings of recent years – as to why this is, part of the explanation must surely be that the style of both the Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon are somewhat atypical relative to many of their counterparts.
Tasting the new releases sighted (which is to say with all the information on hand which is not available to the a panelist sampling blind), it is clear that these are not unaccomplished wines. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
Restless River Ave Marie Chardonnay 2015
Approximate retail price: R390
Spontaneous fermentation before 10 months of maturation in barrel, 5% new. Blossom, pear and citrus on the nose. The palate shows pure fruit and fresh acidity, the finish particularly long and pithy – seems lighter in body and less “funky” than previous vintages.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
Restless River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Approximate retail price: R435
Spontaneous fermentation before 21 months of maturation in barrel, 25% new. Red fruit, a subtle herbal note plus a hint of cigar box but little oak character to speak of. Appears relatively medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins – the antithesis of something like Nederburg Two Centuries 2014.
Editor’s rating; 91/100.
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