After studying first engineering and then accountancy, Tim Martin ended up being a fund manager in London. When the financial crisis of the late 2000s came around, a “forced sabbatical” ensued and he decided to pursue his studies in wine, first doing courses through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and then signing up for a wine marketing programme offered by Montpellier SupAgro.
A desire to actually make wine saw him work the 2011 and 2012 harvests in Burgundy but he was starting to become homesick and so he returned to South Africa. In due course, he bought a unit in a mixed-use complex in Salt River which he has kitted out with wine producing equipment, the working title of the facility being “Salt Cellar” (Bryan MacRobert also using the premises to make his Tobias wines).
The maiden 2014 vintage of Tim Martin Wines are set to be released shortly. Tasting notes and scores below:
Tim Martin Wines Chad Chenin Blanc 2014
From Paardeberg grapes. Spontaneous fermentation, matured for 10 months in foudres. White peach, dried herbs and some light reduction. Intensely flavoured with tangy acidity and a particularly savoury finish – severe in a good way.
Tim Martin Mothership Chenin Blanc 2014
From an approximately 50-year-old vineyard near Joostenberg in Paarl. Spontaneous fermentation, matured for 10 months in foudres. Baked peach and a pleasant oxidative character. Broad on the palate – fermentation stopped before the wine was completely dry, giving it generosity and making for nicely coated acidity.
Tim Martin Qaisar Mouvèdre 2014
From Swartland grapes. 100% whole bunch fermentation, matured for 10 months in a combination of 228-litre and 500-litre used barrels. Red and black fruit plus a certain wildness – brambles, earth and spice. Good fruit concentration, fresh acidity and firm but fine tannins, the finish long and possessing a subtle and entirely pleasant bitterness.