Damascene new releases
By Christian Eedes, 9 September 2019
Damascene is a new undertaking by Jean Smit, previously winemaker at Boekenhoutskloof, with David Curl, former owner of Bordeaux’s Chateau Gaby, as business partner. Smit is all for exploring the winelands in search of exceptional sites, those that deliver an important moment of insight, and hence the name of the project. Tasting notes and ratings for the upcoming maiden releases as follows:
Damascene Semillon 2018
W.O. Franschhoek. Predominantly from a 1942 vineyard but also a dash of the previous vintage from a 1956 vineyard. A complex nose showing pear, white peach, apple and spice plus subtle notes of earth and bread-like yeastiness. The palate had both breadth and depth – lovely layers of flavour and great composure. Total production: 707 bottles.
Editor’s rating: 93/100.
Damascene Cabernet Franc 2018
Grapes from a Bottelary vineyard, maturation took place in 1 000-litre foudre. A perfumed nose with some leafiness, rose, fennel and fynbos to go with red and black berries. The palate displays lovely fruit purity, vibrant acidity and fine tannins, the finish pleasingly dry. Total production: 1 175 bottles.
Editor’s rating: 92/100.
Damascene Syrah 2018
A combination of Polkadraai and Bottelary grapes, winemaking involving multiple fermentations. A compelling nose of red and black berries, black pepper, fynbos, incense and wilted rose. The palate is rich and dense in the best way – intense but not weighty, this has great freshness and lovely ripe tannins in addition to impressive fruit. Super detail and energy, this immediately places among the best in the country.
Editor’s rating: 97/100.
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