Craven new releases

By , 17 March 2022



“Attentive but not manipulative” is how Mick Craven describes his and wife Jeanine’s approach to winemaking, 2021 being the first vintage in their own cellar, which takes the form of a warehouse at Stellenbosch Agri-Park. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:

Craven Chardonnay 2021
Price: R230
Grapes from Polkadraai Hills. Citrus, herbs and a subtle yeasty note on the nose while the palate is lean and austere. Pure fruit, very fresh acidity and a pithy finish. If you like your Chardonnay unadorned, then this is for you.

CE’s rating: 90/100.

Craven Karibib Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2021
Price: R230
Citrus, white peach, cut apple and a little earthiness on the nose. The palate has a great core of fruit, snappy acidity and a salty finish. Tightly wound and intricate, a pleasure to drink.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Craven The Firs Vineyard Syrah 2021
Price: R300

From a Devon Valley vineyard on clay-rich soils. 100% whole-bunch fermentation. The nose is wild and arresting with notes of red and black berries, lilies, pepper, fynbos and earth while the palate has good fruit density, lively acidity and rather severe tannins. This is intensely flavoured and has plenty of crunch but needs a year or so to settle down.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Craven Cabernet Sauvignon 2021
Price: R300
Grapes again from Karibib in the Polkadraai Hills, winemaking involved two-thirds whole-bunch fermentation as opposed to previous vintages where this technique was applied entirely and that much less angular as a result. The nose charms with notes of red and black berries, crushed leaves and a hint of violets. The palate is medium bodied with good fruit expression, fresh acidity and nicely grippy tannins.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


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