Carinus new releases
By Christian Eedes, 28 July 2023
Danie and Hugo Carinus share the same surname but are only distantly related. The former farms Blue Gum Grove in Polkadraai Hills ward of Stellenbosch, while the latter farms Rooidraai in Swartland. The top wines in the portfolio are two examples of Chenin Blanc, the Stellenbosch version made by Chris “Butch” Alheit and that from Swartland by Lukas van Loggerenberg.
“Butch and Lukas are rockstars and some people see our wines as their discount stuff but I’d far rather they were considered the product of proper viticulture and proper winemaking in their own right,” says Danie Carinus. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:
Carinus Swartland Colombard 2022
Matured for 10 months in old 300-litre barrels. Attractive aromatics of guava, pear, peach and a hint of spice. Nice mouthfeel – round and balanced. Good fruit expression, well-integrated acidity and a gently savoury finish. A;c: 12.34%.
CE’s rating: 91/100.
Carinus Swartland Chenin Blanc 2022
Matured for 10 months in 70% old oak and 30% stainless steel. Some struck-match reduction before pear, peach and a hint of hay on the nose while the palate has a dense core of fruit, zippy acidity and a gently savoury finish. Poised and not without weight despite an alcohol of just 12.29%, this is very appealing.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
Carinus Rooidraai Chenin Blanc 2022
From a vineyard planted in 1981. Matured for 10 months in old 300-litre barrels. Pear, peach, orange, a subtle leesy note, ginger and other spice on the nose while the palate has great presence – good weight and texture offset by punchy acidity. With layers of flavour and a long finish, this is most sophisticated. Alc: 12.2%.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
Carinus Polkadraai Heuwels Chenin Blanc 2022
From a vineyard planted in 2015. Matured for 12 months, 75% in concrete egg and 25% in old 300-litre barrels. Enticing aromatics of pear, peach, lime and fynbos while the palate has impressive clarity and liveliness – great fruit expression, bright acidity and super-dry finish. So youthful and yet so compelling. Alc: 13.23%.
CE’s rating: 96/100.
Carinus Stellenbosch Syrah 2022
While the Polkadraai Hills examples of Syrah that are causing such a stir are planted on granite, this wine comes off a vineyard planted on sandstone and is consequently always going to be lighter. 35% stems added back before maturation lasting 10 months in old oak. Red berries, floral perfume, a trace of olive and white pepper on the nose. Entirely agreeable but lacking some complexity. Alc: 13.49%.
CE’s rating: 90/100.
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