Rall new releases

By , 13 July 2020

There is always a sense when tasting the wines of Donovan Rall that he is not inclined to operate strictly according to the rules. The result is that everything he makes is at least intriguing while his very best wines are truly extraordinary in their presence and distinctiveness. Tasting notes for the new releases as follows (prices and availability TBC):

Rall Cinsault Blanc 2019
From Wellington grapes and vinified in amphorae. Some floral perfume plus subtle citrus and peach on the nose while the palate is light-bodied with gentle acidity. Always a pretty wine, this vintage appears particularly understated.

CE’s rating: 88/100.

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Rall White 2019
68% Chenin Blanc, 28% Verdelho, 4% Viognier. An infinitely complex nose with notes of dried flowers, pear, peach, citrus, apple, baking spice and white pepper. The palate is clean and focused, the acidity providing snap, the finish long and pithy. Precisely made but also somehow effortless, this combines great clarity of fruit with plenty of detail.

CE’s rating: 98/100.

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Rall Grenache Blanc 2019
From Piekenierskloof grapes. The nose shows a little reduction before lemon, naartjie, stone fruit, cut apple and a little nuttiness. Rich and broad with seemingly quite moderate acidity, round without being too leesy, this is a more generous vintage than usual.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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Rall Ava Chenin Blanc 2019
A wonderfully multifaceted nose with notes of naartjie, grapefruit, apple, fynbos, thatch and spice plus a slight note of struck-match reduction. The palate is big but flavourful – super-intense and super-long. The same great fruit concentration of previous vintages but perhaps some extra freshness and drive. Delivers in spades!

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Rall Cinsault 2019
60% Swartland and 40% Darling grapes, largely whole-bunch fermented. The nose shows top notes of rose and dried herbs before pomegranate, red currant and raspberry. The palate seems slightly leaner than usual with pure fruit, lemon-like acidity and powdery tannins, the finish gently savoury. A charming wine with plenty of refreshment factor.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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Rall Red 2018
70% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 10% Carignan and 8% Cinsault. A brooding nose of black fruit, withererd rose, some meatiness, spice and even a little tar. The palate meanwhile is full-bodied with smooth tannins, the finish super-dry. This is 100% whole-bunch fermented but the fruit is so dense that there’s no sense of stalkiness on the palate. A dramatic, powerful wine.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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Rall Ava Syrah 2019
Now incorporating grapes from two Swartland vineyards on schist. Compelling aromatics of red and black fruit, roses and lilies, fresh coriander plus white and black pepper. The palate is marked by lovely fruit expression, a cracking line of acidity and crunchy tannins. This currently comes across as tightly wound and even a little ungiving but there is a sense of all the necessary elements of greatness being present and this should mature magnificently.

CE’s rating: 98/100.

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