Damascene new releases

By , 14 October 2020

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Damascene that sees Jean Smit, previously winemaker at Boekenhoutskloof, in partnership with David Curl, former owner of Bordeaux’s Chateau Gaby is proving to be one of the most exciting new wine projects in the last while. Most recently, a new production facility for both the Damascene wine and related Moya Meaker project has been built on Curl’s Elgin property while new Chardonnay vineyards are also being established – see here.

The upcoming new releases, meanwhile, are hugely impressive. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Damascene Semillon 2019
Price: R400
From two Franschhoek vineyards, one planted in 1942 and the other in 1962. A complex nose with notes of fynbos, apple, naartjie, green melon, hay, wax and oatmeal while the palate has good fruit density, nicely integrated acidity and a gently savoury finish. That much more compact and balanced than the previous vintage.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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Damascene Cabernet Franc 2019
Price: R400
80% of grapes from Bottelary and 20% from Polkadraai. The nose is subtly fragrant with notes of red fruit, herbs including bay leaf and fennel plus some rose. The palate is light-bodied with bright acidity and very fine tannins, the finish super-dry. Possessing great poise and purity, this is supremely elegant.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Damascene Stellenbosch Syrah 2019
Price: R400
Grapes from Bottelary and Polkadraai. Pretty aromatics of red fruit, white pepper, fynbos and lilies. The palate, meanwhile, is light-bodied with lemon-like acidity and fine tannins. Pure and delicate, this has a lovely clarity about it. Alcohol: 12.5%.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

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Damascene Cederberg Syrah 2019
Price: R400
Matured in foudre. Dark berries, olive tapenade, black pepper and a little earthiness on the nose. The palate has dense fruit to go with a lovely line of acidity and tannins that are firm in the best sense, the finish super-savoury. Powerful without being weighty. Alcohol: 13.5%.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

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Damascene Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Price: R400
Grapes from Bottelary, Helderberg and Polkadraai. Matured for 22 months in 80% new barrique and 20% in foudre. Cranberry and cassis, cigar box and pencil shavings on the nose. The palate is medium bodied but not overly-refined with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Just about pitch-perfect.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

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