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Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse 2013


Thorne and Daughters was started by John Seccombe and wife Tasha at the end of 2012. After growing up in Johannesburg, Seccombe originally started out studying maths and computer science at the University of Stellenbosch but later switched to winemaking – he has a viticulture and oenology degree from Plumpton College, Sussex and has worked harvests around the world.

His intention going forward is to work with “intriguing” parcels of grapes from around the country, his maiden release 2013 wines made at Hemelrand, also home of the acclaimed Alheit Vineyards wines.


Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse 2013
Price: R170
39% Roussanne (Paarl), 23% Chardonnay (“near Bot River”), 23% Semillon (Franschhoek) and 15% Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch). Spontaneous fermentation and maturation in barrels of various sizes, none new.

White and yellow peach, honey, an attractive touch of vanilla, some wet clay. The wine appears sweet but is technically dry (RS 1.8g/l) giving it a wonderfully sun-kissed quality. In terms of shape and form, it starts broad but comes impressively to a point while there’s weight without it being oily or buttery. A very sure-footed debut.

Score: 94/100.

Thorne & Daughters Tin Soldier 2013
Price: R215
From a 30-year-old Franschhoek vineyard where white and red Semillon occur equally, red Semillon (or Semillon Gris) a natural mutation of white and no significant plantings found outside South Africa. Fermented and left on the skins for four weeks.

A quite extraordinary nose which can only be described as a combination of Fanta Grape and bay leaf – enticing even if it doesn’t sound like it! Juicy on entry but almost astringent on the finish thanks to the skin contact – not at all unpleasant but it does send the wine in a slightly rustic direction. Will bring tears to the eyes of most wine geeks.

Score: 91/100.


  1. John’s wines will make waves over the coming years. He is super smart. Thorne and Daughters is a brilliant addition to the dynamic Cape wine scene.

    You may just want to double check the grape origins on Rocking horse.


  2. More than just a bit frustrated with this wine’s marketing crowd. Loads of interest generated, yet the wine still awaits labelling and will only be “commercially available
    next month.” Come on people, surely you want to strike the iron while it’s hot?

  3. Please explain ” wet clay” would that be to the nose or taste.I would assume nose as I have never tasted wet clay.

    • Hi Russell, It’s metaphor for a certain savouriness. I’ve used it like I would “earthiness” – it should evoke more yellow than red soil and hopefully not completely fanciful.

  4. James, Christian, and Chris, thanks for the support, really glad that you enjoyed the wines.

    Joe, please drop me a line on my email: john@thorneanddaugthers.com, as I would like to make sure that you can get hold of the wines when they become available, and I will also be able to explain why some people have had a sneak-peek at the wines before this time.


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