Grapes for the Winters Drift wines are grown on the historic Glen Elgin farm which was bequeathed to the Molteno Brothers Trust, with profits to be used for the furtherance of ‘educational, cultural and charitable interests’. Wines are made by Koen Roose of Spioenkop. Tasting notes and ratings for new releases as follows:
Winters Drift Chardonnay 2014
Approximate retail price: R145
60% underwent spontaneous fermentation in 300-litre French oak barrels, all new and 40% inoculated in tank. Partial malolactic fermentation. Plenty of citrus character ( lemon, grapefruit and orange), oatmeal and notable oak-derived notes including vanilla and toast. Super-concentrated (despite an abv of only 13.5%) with driving acidity before a pithy finish – dramatic stuff.
Winemag rating: 90/100.
Winters Drift Pinot Noir 2014
Approximate retail price: R160
2014 described as a challenging year – rain just before picking led to sour rot and bigger than normal berries. Spontaneously fermented and matured for 11 months in a combination of new and second-fill 300-litre French oak barrels. Red and black cherries, some musk and definite oak-derived notes of vanilla, sawdust and spice. Good flavour intensity with fresh acidity and relatively firm tannins. Well put together but ultimately a bit foursquare.
Winemag rating: 88/100.