You imagine table wines from Portuguese varieties are never going to be a very big category locally but they certainly provide a respite from your usual Cab-Merlot blends and thank goodness for that. The Machado 2015 (the name being the Portuguese word for “axe”, pre-historic handtools found on the property during the preparation of the vineyards) from Axe Hill outside Calitzdorp consists of 35% Souzão, 30% Touriga Nacional plus dashes of Shiraz and Tinta Barocca matured for 18 months in mainly older French and American oak.
On the nose, red and black fruit, crushed herbs, chocolate, earth and spice. The palate is not too full bodied (alcohol: 14%) and well balanced with fresh acidity and smooth, supple tannins, the finish nicely savoury. Price: R130 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
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