Radford Dale new releases

By , 16 October 2021

Radford Dale was founded in 1998 when Australian Ben Radford and British-born, Burgundy enamoured Alex Dale first made wines together. Today, the team works with vineyards across the Western Cape, the ethos of minimal intervention in the cellar applied with more conviction than most. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:

Vinum Chenin Blanc 2020
Price: R165
Grapes predominantly from a 1968 Stellenbosch vineyard. 60% tank fermented and 40% Citrus, stone fruit and kernel plus a little earth on the nose while the palate shows pure fruit, bright acidity and a gently savoury finish. Not without volume, this over-delivers at the price.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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Vinum Pinotage 2020
Price: R183
Made in open 600-litre wooden fermenters with the aim of achieving a very soft extraction before maturation in older oak. A hint of reduction before cherry and plum on the nose while the palate is medium bodied with fresh acidity before a slightly bitter finish. Pleasant enough but rather straightforward.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

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Radford Dale Organic Chenin Blanc 2020
Price: R330
Grapes from Longridge in Stellenbsoch. 36 hours of skin contact, maturation lasting 10 months in old oak. White peach, cut apple, almond and herbs on the nose while the palate has lovely fruit definition, zippy acidity and a savoury finish. Intricate and subtle, this is very pleasurable.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2020
Price: R440
Grapes from Elgin, this is whole-berry fermented before maturation in old 228- and 300-litre barrels for 11 months. Musk, red berries, a hint of fynbos and spice on the nose while the palate is light bodied and energetic – pure fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins, the finish nicely dry and persistent.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Radford Dale Grenache 2020
Price: R330
From a Stellenbosch vineyard planted in 2014. Compelling aromatics of red and black berries, dried herbs, hung meat, earth and spice on the nose while the palate has more depth of fruit, flavour and tannic grip than many local examples – well balanced with plenty of interest.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2020
Price: R440
First vintage since 2016. Grapes from a Helderberg vineyard planted in 1992 on white clay. Red currant, cherry, floral fragrance and candy floss on the nose while the palate is exquisitely balanced – lovely clarity of fruit, bright acidity and powdery tannins. Alcohol is 12% so this is not a wine that trades off fruit power but it’s nevertheless very satisfying.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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