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Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2016

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Restless River in the Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley are rapidly gaining a cult following and based on the new releases it’s easy to see why. Tasting notes and scores as follows:

Restless River Wanderlust Grenache 2017
Approximate retail price: R330
“Wanderlust” is a new label designating experimental wines allowing winemaker Craig Wessels to tackle something different every vintage. Grapes for the  2017 come from a Hemel-en-Aarde Valley  vineyard, winemaking involving partial carbonic maceration and maturation lasting seven months in old oak.  Cranberry and red cherry while the palate is light bodied with bright acidity and fine tannins – plenty of pure, clean fruit and not too angular. In fact, rather winning. Alcohol: 13.2%.

Editor’s rating: 89/100.

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Restless River La Luc Pinot Noir 2016
Approximate retail price: R390
The first release from young vineyards. 20% whole-bunch fermentation before 14 months in old oak. Red fruit, herbs, earth and a hint of musk on the nose. The palate is again light bodied with really snappy acidity and nicely grippy tannins, making for a very dry finish. Alcohol: 12.8%.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

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Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2016
Less is more.

Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2016
Approximate retail price: R390
Grapes picked in four or five batches over 10 days for extra complexity and balance. Juiced treated oxidatively before spontaneous fermentation and maturation lasting 11 months in French oak, only 5% new. A subtle and elusive nose – not very much primary fruit in evidence but some lemon and white peach if you use your imagination while there’s also an appealing biscuit-like quality plus both some flintiness and earthiness. The palate is lean, fresh  with a very long, salty finish. A triumph of understatement and now starting to take its place among the Cape’s best. Alcohol: 13.1%

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

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Restless River Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Approximate retail price: R500
Matured for 21 months in French oak, 25% new. Cassis, some leafiness and violets  on the nose – a quintessential of the variety. The palate has lovely fruit purity – dense yet not sweet or sumptuous – with fresh acidity and fine tannins. More complete than previous vintages and just really pristine.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

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