Craven Wines new releases

By , 29 March 2021

Mick and Jeanine Craven of Craven Wines.

Mick and Jeanine Craven used to make their own wines at Mulderbosch, Mick a member of that cellar’s winemaking team but he has now left employment there and they have acquired premises at Stellenbosch Agri-Park, the cellar nothing if not functional and just about equidistant from the various vineyards in the district from which they source grapes. Yesterday the release of the 2020s, tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Craven Bluegum Grove Chardonnay 2020
Price: R215
Grapes from Polkadraai Hills. Yellow citrus on nose and palate. Light-bodied with bright acidity and a pithy finish. Clean and precise but somewhat underdone for me – alcohol is 12.1%.

CE’s rating: 88/100.

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Craven Karibib Chenin Blanc 2020
Price: R215
Grapes from Polkadraai Hills. Subtle but alluring aromatics – a hint of flinty reduction, some floral perfume, white peach and citrus. The palate possesses a great core of fruit, lively acidity and again a pithy finish. Again light bodied but here there is no shortage of flavour. Great definition, vivid and long. Alcohol: 12.56%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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Craven Pinot Gris 2020 released earlier and rated 91/100 – see here.

Craven Rustenhof Cinsaut 2020
Price: R215
Grapes from Faure. Destemmed to avoid the reduction in acidity that whole-bunch fermentation tends to bring about. Refined notes of plum and cherry on the nose. Light and fresh on the palate with a lovely sappy quality – understated yet vivid and precise. Tannins are fine, the finish long and saline. Alcohol: 12.35%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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Craven The Firs Vineyard Syrah 2020
Price: R285
Grapes from Devon Valley. 100% whole-bunch fermentation. Enticing aromatics of violets and herbs before dark fruit and a little tilled earth. The palate is strikingly pure – great fruit definition, racy acidity and powdery tannins, the finish long and dry. A lighter vintage of what anyway tends to be a lighter rendition of the variety – has a real “nervy” quality to it. Alcohol: 12.51%.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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Craven Karibib Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Price: R285
Grapes from Polkadraai Hills. Whereas the previous two vintages involved full whole-bunch fermentation, this saw 30% of the fruit destemmed and this has added some extra padding to the palate, the wine that much less esoteric as a result. Violets and cassis on the nose, lovely fruit delineation combined with a particular vitality – alcohol is 12.48%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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