Menagerie new releases

By , 5 September 2023



Mengarie is the exploratory label of John Seccombe of Thorne & Daughters, allowing him to work with different vineyards around the Cape. He’s just released the second-ever tranche of wines, line-priced at R265 a bottle, tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Chenin Blanc Méthode Ancesterale Chenin Blanc 2021
Grapes from the Paardeberg in Swartland. Move from barrel to bottle while still fermenting. Flinty reduction to go with hints of citrus and peach on the nose while the palate has arresting acidity, a light bubble and a super-dry finish. Alc: 10.04%.

CE’s rating: 90/100.

Vermentino 2021
Grapes from Stellenbosch. Fermented and matured for 10 months in older oak. Lemon, orange and melon plus some subtle waxy character on the nose while the palate has nice weight and texture but is equally not short of verve – dense fruit, well-integrated acidity and a gently savoury finish. Alc: 13.73%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Mountain Chardonnay 2021
Grapes from Piekenierskloof and Ceres Plateau. Lemon plus some intriguing but hard-to-describe secondary notes on the nose. Good fruit concentration and snappy acidity before a pithy finish. Lively and full of flavour. Alc: 12.6%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Valley Chardonnay 2021
Pinotage 2022
Grapes from the Overberg. Subtle and inviting aromatics with a top note of blossom before pear, peach and citrus while the palate is light and fresh with a resolutely dry finish. Delicate and detailed, a charming wine. Alc: 12.96%.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Pinotage 2022
Grapes from a Skurfberg vineyard planted in the mid-1990s. Carbonic maceration in stainless steel tank before being pressed to older barrels, maturation lasting nine months. Seductive aromatics of cherry, plum, pomegranate and floral perfume. Medium bodied with good freshness and lightly grippy tannins, the finish nicely dry. Does this have maturation potential? That’s irrelevant as its absolutely delicious now. A once-off bottling.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


2 comment(s)

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    Dieter Gugelmann | 5 September 2023

    Hi Christian
    Your coment about maturation potential:
    “Does this have maturation potential? That’s irrelevant as its absolutely delicious now. ”

    For many wine drinkers maturation potential is important. I’m now drinking the vintages 2016 – 2018.
    That’s why maturation potential is important to me!

      Christian Eedes | 6 September 2023

      Hi Dieter,

      Of course maturation potential is important in general. My point about the Menagerie Pinotage specifically is that it gives a lot of pleasure immediately and keeping it for any length of time may be to miss out on its youthful charm.

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