Last night, a tasting of the new releases from Stellenbosch cellar Tokara. Taken as a whole, these were a very impressive set of wines – winemaker Miles Mossop who has been here since inception has always been calculated in his approach but he increasingly seems more at ease with himself and the wines are benefitting as a consequence. Significantly, he seems to have closed the gap between his reds and his always very good whites.
Some tasting notes and scores:
Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Fynbos and gunsmoke top notes before lime and green melon. Great fruit concentration and coated acidity – while even very good Sauvignon can be a bit skinny, this has real breadth in the mouth. The finish, meanwhile, is long and pithy. Very sexy.
Limited Release Grenache 2012
88% Grenache and 12% Syrah from Walker Bay. Wild strawberry, pepper and spice. Clean and pure with bright acidity and fine tannins. Impeccably well made but somehow not as exciting as some other examples in this emerging category. Very primary and some bottle maturation might be what’s called for.
Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Syrah 2011
25% whole bunch ferment. Huge improvement on the maiden 2010. Red and black fruit, lilies and stacks of pepper. Good fruit concentration, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins. Has a real suppleness about it, moving really well in the mouth. Precise in the best sense.
Director’s Reserve Red 2011
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Matured for 22 month in French oak, 62% new. Cassis, pencil shavings and subtle leafy quality. Full but balanced – dense fruit, fresh acidity, smooth but not slippery tannins. Very well assembled. An archetypal Cab-based blend from Stellenbosch.
Limited Release Pinotage 2012
Overt oak to go with red and black cherries on the nose and palate. Full but not completely in balance – tannins very aggressive. The only disappointing wine in the line-up but more a reflection on this often difficult variety than any real winemaking shortcomings.
The Tokara Director’s Reserve White (R215) recently rated 4½ Stars in the RisCura White Hot Wine Awards (see here) and while very good, doesn’t have quite the same finesse as the outstanding 2012. The Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2013 (R140), meanwhile, will be reviewed as part of the fourth annual Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report presented in conjunction with Sanlam Private Wealth, results to be made public in October.