The first bottling of wines under the Thorne & Daughter label by John Seccombe date from 2013 and the subsequent refinement of vision over time plus the excellent vintage that was 2017 sees him now releasing his strongest set of wines to date (prices to be confirmed).
Cat’s Cradle 2017
New. From a Paardeberg Chenin Blanc vineyard planted in the late 1970s. Pear, white peach and citrus plus a little hay on the nose. The palate shows excellent fruit concentration and driving acidity before a very persistent, saline finish. Strikingly clean and poised. How many more examples of top-end Chenin can the market bear? Who cares when they’re as good as this? Alcohol: 13%.
Editor’s rating: 95/100.
Man in the Moon 2017
New. From Stellenbosch Clairette Blanche, 50% was fermented on the skins. Straw yellow in colour, the nose shows a top note of potpourri before naartjie, lemon, yellow apple and a slight earthiness. Lovely fruit expression combines with tangy acidity, the finish possessing some phenolic grip. Lean, fresh and very tasty – not too quirky for those wary of “orange wines”. Alcohol: 12%.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
Tin Soldier 2017
From Swartland Semillon Gris fermented on the skins. Pale bronze in colour, the nose is not particularly aromatic but shows hints of red apple, fennel and spice plus a little reduction. Light, fresh and savoury on the palate – lovely texture without being weighty or greasy. An understated, very pleasing wine. Alcohol: 12.5%.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
Paper Kite 2017
From old-vine Swartland Semillon. A subtle and elusive nose of white peach, naartjie and dried herbs. The palate shows good fruit concentration and bright acidity before a long and savoury finish, a touch of tannic grip adding interest. Nicely observed on the part of Seccombe and again an absolute pleasure to drink. Alcohol: 12.5%.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
Rocking Horse Cape White Blend 2017
23% Roussanne, 22% Chenin Blanc, 21% Semillon, 17% Clairette Blanche and 17% Chardonnay sourced from across the Western Cape. The nose shows white and yellow fruit, dried herbs, spice and a little earthiness. The palate has a little extra padding than Secommbe’s other 2017s (alcohol is 13.5%) but this is very much in its favour – it’s flavour-packed and quite luscious without being ingratiating. The overall impression is one of rich but very well balanced wine – powerful , precise and persisitent.
Editor’s rating: 96/100.
A rating for Wanderer’s Heart 2017 will appear in the Signature Red Blend Report due to be released shortly.
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