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Spioenkop Queen Manthatisi 2016

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Koen Roose of Elgin property Spioenkop is not one to abide by convention – his current-release Sauvignon Blanc is from the 2015 vintage and his take on wooded Sauvignon Blanc includes 8% Chenin Blanc, for instance. If , however, “authenticity” is defined commitment to origin and a particular ethos, then these are particularly authentic wines. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:

Spioenkop Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Approximate retail price: R230
White peach, quince and just a little white asparagus. Rich and thick textured yet not short of freshness, the finish gently savoury. Well balanced and maturing with benefit.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

Spioenkop Queen Manthatisi 2016
Sauvignon Blanc with a twist.

Spioenkop Queen Manthatisi 2016
Approximate retail price: R175
Named after sovereign of the Tlokwa people in the 1820s – she fought against the British and ruled over 40,000 people at her peak. 92% Sauvignon Blanc matued in old oak for 12 months and 8% Chenin Blanc. A fragrant nose with top notes of potpourri and fynbos before white peach and blackcurrant. Medium bodied with layers of flavour, a little white pepper bite to the finish. Detailed and delicious, this has lovely composure.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

Spioenkop Sarah Rall Chenin Blanc 2017
Approximate retail price: R250
From vineyard grown on ferricrete. Matured for nine months in tank before three months in barrel on Chardonnay lees. A subtle nose of cut apple, white peach, naartjie and spice. Medium bodied with striking acidity and a salty finish.

Editor’s rating: 91/100.

Spioenkop Johanna Brand Chenin Blanc 2017
Approximate retail price: R250
From vineyard on shale. Matured for 12 months in barrel, 20% new and topped with Riesling. A hint of reduction before blossom, white peach, citrus and yellow apple. Concentrated fruit, zippy acidity and again a salty finish. Very nicely balanced and quite delicious.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

Spioenkop 1900 Pinotage 2017
Approximate retail price: R325
Whereas previous vintages included some Elgin fruit, this is 100% from Stellenbosch. The nose shows a top note of floral fragrance before red and black cherry, earth and spice with some smokiness in the background. Lovely fruit concentration and zippy acidity – sweet and juicy upfront, the finish slightly bitter but not unpleasantly so. Plenty of personality.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

Spioenkop Elgin Pinotage 2017
Approximate retail price: R400
Some 25% of the grapes fermented whole-bunch. Matured for nine months in 50% new oak and then a further three months in 100% new. A hint of reduction before red and black cherries, black olive, fynbos and attractive oak-derived character.  Dense fruit, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins, the finish long and particularly dry.

Editor’s rating: 92/100.

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