The reputation of the Family Vineyards Pinot Noir from Newton Johnson in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is well established, but I would proffer that the 2017 is the best to date.
Grapes from vineyards across the property, some whole-bunch fermentation is undertaken depending on the particular site while maturation lasted 11 months in French oak, 25% new before a further six months in tank.
Stick your nose in your glass and you will initially encounter very expressive, lifted aromatics of strawberry, cherry and musk but later some earthiness and spice also become discernible. The palate is very poised, very detailed. Medium bodied in structure, it comes across as seamless with no disconnect from entry through mid-palate to finish (alcohol: 13.4%). Pure, fresh and possessing wonderfully supple tannins, it moves really well in the mouth. Super-sexy! Approximate retail price: R365 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
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