City on a Hill new releases
By Christian Eedes, 13 August 2020
André Bruyns, the assistant winemaker to Swartland producers David and Nadia Sadie, produces his own City on a Hill wines in a similar subtle mode of expression, tasting notes and ratings for the upcoming new releases as follows:
City on a Hill Muscat d’Alexandrie 2019
Vinification involves some five days on skins. Pronounced reduction plus some grapiness on the nose while the palate is rich and round with soft acidity (despite an alcohol of just 11.5%). Not quite as charming as the previous vintage.
CE’s rating: 88/100.
City on a Hill White 2019
86% Chenin Blanc, 6% Viognier, 6% Grenache Blanc and 2% Muscat d’Alexandrie. A hint of reduction before pear and white peach with notes of flowers and herbs in the background. The palate is lean with snappy acidity and a pithy finish. Light but still intensely flavoured, this has great energy.
CE’s rating: 95/100.
City on a Hill Chenin Blanc 2019
Grapes from three different Paardeberg vineyards. Again some flinty reduction before naartjie and peach on the nose while the palate has good fruit expression, bright acidity and a pithy finish. Lean and austere in the best way, this is very much true to its origins.
CE’s rating: 93/100.
City on a Hill Tinta das Baroccas 2019
Grapes from a 1968 vineyard on granite. Red fruit, earth, fynbos, dried herbs and tobacco. The palate is medium-bodied, relatively broad and soft – there’s a pleasant sweetness of fruit to go with moderate acidity and tannins that are relatively fine for the variety (alcohol: 14%).
CE’s rating: 90/100.
City on a Hill Red 2019
63% Syrah, 23% Tinta Barocca and 14% Cinsault. Red and blackberries, some quite heady floral perfume and white on the nose. Good fruit concentration, lemon-like acidity and wonderfully powdery tannins that contribute to a long, dry finish. Medium-bodied and well balanced, this shows great focus.
CE’s rating: 93/100.
City on a Hill Syrah 2019
75% whole-bunch fermented. Pretty but not especially intense aromatics of red berries, rose and white pepper while the palate is light and fresh with fine tannins. Elegant and energetic, this is perhaps a bit short on gravitas to warrant the price.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
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