Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact Chenin Blanc 2016

November 15, 2016
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 0 Comments

Craig Hawkins, co-owner with wife Carla of Swartland-based Testalonga, says 2016 was particularly dry, the resulting challenge being to manage the big tannins on both white wines and reds. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:

Testalonga Baby Bandito Keep on Punching 2016
Wine Cellar price: R130
From a 1974 Chenin Blanc vineyard. Potpourri before apple, white peach and a little spice. Very appealing but denserand perhaps not as fresh as the utterly charming 2015.

#WinemagRating: 88/100.

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Testalonga Baby Bandito Follow your Dreams 2016
Wine Cellar price: R130
From a 2001 Carignan vineyard. A hint of floral fragrance before red cherry and pomegranate. Initially sweet fruited before a salty finish. So sexy.

#WinemagRating: 91/100.

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Testalonga El Bandito Lords of Dogtown 2016
Approximate retail price: R275
From a 1971 Chenin Blanc vineyard. Dried herbs, flowers, apple and peach. Lovely fruit concentration and texture, tangy acidity and a savoury finish.

#WinemagRating: 91/100.

Testalonga El Bandito Cortez 2016
Wine Cellar price: R260
From a 1972 Chenin Blanc vineyard. Lime, green apple and dried herbs. Light but extraordinarily pure and fresh. Layers of flavour and lovely length – ethereal.

#WinemagRating: 93/100.

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Testalonga El Bandito Mangaliza 2016
Approximate retail price: R275
From a 1981 Harslevelu vineyard. Quite shy on the nose with hints of pear and white peach. The palate is light but simultaneously pithy and the finish is very savoury – fascinating.

#WinemagRating: 92/100.

Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact Chenin Blanc 2016

Come out with your hands up.

Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact Chenin Blanc 2016
Approximate retail price: R275
From a 1972 Chenin Blanc vineyard. Period on skins reduced to 10 days due to the nature of the vintage. An enticing nose of flowers before citrus and yellow peach before base notes of earth and spice. Intensely flavoured but still refreshing and more-ish. Lovely balance and great length. Some grip in the best sense.

#WinemagRating: 94/100.

Testalonga El Bandito Sweet Cheeks 2016
Approximate retail price: R275
From a 1979 vineyard of Muscat d’Alexandrie. A floral top note but also a certain grape-iness plus a little petrol-like character and spice. Thick textured and savoury. Full of personality.

#WinemagRating: 91/100.

Testalonga El Bandito Queen of Spades 2016
Approximate retail price: R275
From Tinta Amarela. Red and black fruit, scrub and spice. Light bodied with bright acidity and hard tannins. A bit rustic.

#WinemagRating: 89/100.

Testalonga El Bandito Monkey Gone to Heaven 2016
Approximate retail price: R275
From a 2001 Mourvèdre vineyard. Dark fruit, fynbos, mint and earth. Lovely concentration, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins. Most accomplished!

#WinemagRating: 93/100.

Testalonga El Bandito The Dark Side 2016
Wine Cellar price: R260
From a 2000 Syrah vineyard. Dark and brooding. Red and black berries, a touch of reduction and some earthiness on the nose while the palate shows pure fruit, fresh acidity and firm tannins before a particularly savoury finish. A singular wine which appears to need some time in bottle.

#WinemagRating: 91/100.

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Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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