Arco Laarman departed Glen Carlou as winemaker in 2016 to go on his own, releasing some everyday drinking wines last year under the Cluster Series label and now two premium wines branded as Focal Point. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:
Focal Point Vermaaklikheid Chardonnay 2017
Approximate retail price: R310
Grapes from a Cape South Coast site about 300km from Cape Town. Vinification involved partial spontaneous fermentation before maturation lasting 10 months in French oak, 48% new. Yellow peach and orange plus vanilla and a touch of spice on the nose. The palate, meanwhile, is rich and broad with a creamy texture making for nicely coated acidity. A comforting rather than exhilarating wine – alcohol is 14%.
Editor’s rating: 89/100.
Focal Point Cinsault 2017
Approximate retail price: R210
Grapes from a Bottelary vineyard some 25 years old. 50% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 10 months in old oak. A very appealing nose of red cherry, pomegranate, fresh herbs and earth. The palate is light and fresh with fine tannins lending a nice dryness to the finish. A wine with a nice energy about it. Alcohol is 13%.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
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