Craven new releases

By , 2 May 2023

Mick Craven and Jeanine Craven of Craven Wines make single-variety wines from single vineyards across the greater Stellenbosch area. Mick says the 2022 harvest was one of the “smoothest, easiest in recent memory” and the wines do seem to have a particular approachability about them. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Craven Chardonnay 2022
Price: R250
Grapes from a Polkadraai Hills vineyard by the name of Bluegum Grove managed by Danie Carinus. Matured for nine months in old oak. White peach, citrus and apple on the nose while the palate has good fruit definition and bright acidity – a little more roundness and weight than usual although the alcohol remains low at 11.5%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Craven Karibib Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2022
Price: R250
Grapes from a 1981 vineyard on the Polkadraai Hills farm Karibib managed by Jozua Joubert. A change in winemaking vessel for this wine – it is now fermented and matured in concrete whereas juice previously went into old oak. Top notes of honeysuckle and hay before yellow peach on the nose. The palate shows succulent fruit and moderate acidity with some light grip to the finish. Has a pleasing honesty about it. Alcohol: 13%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Craven The Firs Vineyard Syrah 2022
Price: R300
Grapes from a Devon Valley on rich soils with a high clay content. 100% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 10 months in older oak. Enticing aromatics of lavender and violets before red and black berries with a hint of fynbos in the background. Great fruit purity, bright acidity and fine, velvety tannins. Dense but certainly not too opulent, this vintage is poised and drinks effortlessly. Alcohol: 13%.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Craven Cabernet Sauvignon 2022
Price: R300
Grapes from Karibib. Two-thirds whole-bunch pressed. Attractive aromatics of rose, red and black berries as well as fresh herbs while the palate is medium-bodied with good fruit definition, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Pure and harmonious, this has a compelling urgency about it. Alcohol: 12.8%.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

The Cinsault and Pinot Gris from the 2022 vintage were reviewed here.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


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