A.A. Badenhorst new releases

By , 15 April 2021

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Yesterday’s new release launch by Swartland cellar A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines began with various older vintages of Ramnasgras Cinsault in the vineyard of origin that is now some 60 years old (sources differ as to its actual year of planting) and a reflection from main protagonist Adi Badenhorst that “We are maybe better farmers than winemakers”.

Thereafter, a more formal tasting of the 2020 single vineyard wines plus the 2019 blends, tasting notes and ratings as follows:

A.A. Badenhorst Bokveld Pinot Noir 2020
Grapes from the Ceres Plateau. Red cherry and a hint of musk on the nose while the palate is clean and fresh with fine tannins. Seems a bit underdone.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Ringmuur Cinsault 2018
Made using carbonic maceration. Red cherry, rose and cotton candy on the nose while the palate is light and fresh with fine tannins. Pure, energetic and entirely charming.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

A.A. Badenhorst Ramnasgras Cinsault 2020
Red and black cherry, herbs and spice on the nose while the palate has a lovely core of fruit, bright acidity and again wonderfully fine tannins. Expressive and harmonious.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Raaigras Grenache 2020
A somewhat shy nose with subtle notes of strawberry, cranberry, fynbos and spice. The palate is light-bodied and fresh with powdery tannins. It’s an understated wine that it is currently quite difficult to assess – there’s something compelling about the relationship between fruit, acidity and tannins that suggests this wine will flourish with time. Alcohol: 11.5%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

A.A. Badenhorst Sk’windjiesvlei Tinta Barocca 2020
Aromatics of dark berries, earth and spice while the palate is dense and yet high in acidity, the tannins grippy. Typically rustic but not short of flavour or interest.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Kalmoesfontein Red 2019
From Shiraz, Cinsault, Tinta Barocca, Grenache and Touriga Nacional sourced from nine separate vineyards and co-fermented. A complex nose showing red and black berries, rooibos tea, lavender, fynbos, earth and spice. The palate, meanwhile, is balanced and detailed – lovely fruit purity, bright acidity and firm but fine tannins, the finish long and dry. Wonderfully well judged.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Sout van die Aarde Palomino 2020
The nose is a little neutral but there are hints of pear, white peach and herbs. The palate is lean and fresh – nicely delineated fruit before a finish that super-dry and saline.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Klip Kop Steen 2020
Potpourri, pear, white peach and Granny Smith apple plus some flinty reduction on the nose while the palate is strikingly pure with zingy acidity and a pithy finish.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Kelder Steen 2020
Yellow peach, pineapple and a little leesy complexity on the nose. Relatively rich on the palate – slightly greasy in texture with layers of flavour, the finish long and savoury.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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A.A. Badenhorst Kalmoesfontein White 2019
Includes some 10 or 11 varieties sourced from 17 vineyards. Golden Delicous apple, stone fruit, pineapple as well as bee’s wax and a hint of spice on the nose. The alcohol is 14% and the palate is substantial – rich and broad with seemingly moderate acidity and a gently savoury finish. Comes across as a bit showy but sure to have many fans.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Comments

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  • Dirk Glenwood16 April 2021

    I’d rather have a 96pt Mother Rock, its just miles ahead of the game.

  • Colin15 April 2021

    Did you tweet these tasting notes? They’ll certainly be able to go out on Twitter nicely – nice and short and just as short on information.

  • Dion Martin15 April 2021

    Dear Christian

    Could you perhaps provide a little more detail. Knowing Adi, he likes to talk. Any mention of what 2019 and 2020 vintage was like in the Swartland and more particular as it relates to Kalmoesfntein would be much appreciated. I note that you mentioned tasting older vintages of Raaigras. This is pretty much a SA benchmark Grenache, could you please share your thoughts on how you experienced these older vintages, ability to age, develop etc.

    Cheers
    Dion

    • Dion Martin15 April 2021

      PS: My mistake: Ramnasgras Cinsault.

      • Kwispedoor15 April 2021

        Yes, Christian, a separate and dedicated report on those older Ramnasgras bottles will be very interesting and much appreciated.

        • Christian Eedes15 April 2021

          Hi All, The older Ramnasgras were served in nonchalant manner – a motley bunch of trade and media sped up to the vineyard in bakkies, took in the view and had a few sips of the 2012, 2016 and 2017 – enough only for me to realise once again what an important component Cinsault was in those great red blends of yesteryear such as Alto Rouge and Chateau Libertas.

          As for the tasting of the 2020s, Badenhorst kept up the pace and spoke little – there were approximately 40 people in attendance and it was not the forum for detailed discussion.

          I concede my notes are brief but hopefully give an indication of relative drinking pleasure, now and in the future. More in-depth commentary depends on time and unfortunately our current business model does not permit. As ever, we encourage readers to make a voluntary financial contribution.

          • Colin16 April 2021

            Hi Christian. I think this is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. What came first? The absolutely useless review of AA Badenhorst because of no money, or the no money because of the absolutely useless review? I am getting the distinct impression that you’re rather out of touch with how you should be enticing people to pay for your product.

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