Rall new releases

By , 13 July 2022

Donovan Rall describes his white wines of the 2021 vintage as very tight with a certain nervousness about them while the sugar-alcohol conversion rate on the reds was low making for wines of particular elegance. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Rall Cinsault Blanc 2021
Price: R265

Grapes from a 0.2ha Wellington vineyard and “the only example in the world” of a wine from this variety. Subtle notes of pear, peach and citrus on the nose while the palate is modest in the best sense – not without freshness, some grippy texture and a gently saline finish.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

Rall Grenache Blanc 2021
Price: R265

Grapes predominantly from Piekenierskloof but now also including a small portion from a Swartland vineyard on schist. Some struck-match reduction before peach, citrus and pineapple while the palate is wonderfully lean and direct – impressive fruit density to go with a cracking line of acidity before a bone-dry finish. Pure and focused.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Rall Noa Chenin Blanc 2021
Price: R495

NEW. Grapes from a Paardeberg vineyard planted in the late 1960s on granite. Dramatic aromatics with top notes of flowers and herbs before lime, lemon and naartjie plus hints of ginger and other spice. The palate has great fruit expression and plenty of zippy acidity. Loads of flavour before a long, dry finish. This has a vinosity about it with the perfect amount of weight and texture.

CE’s rating: 97/100.

Rall Ava Chenin Blanc 2021
Price: R495

Grapes from Swartland vineyards planted on schist. The nose shows some flinty reduction before orange and yellow peach with hints of straw and honeysuckle in the background. Great presence in the mouth – this has a Corton Charlemagne-like opulence about it. Powerful but equally entirely harmonious, the acidity well integrated and the finish gently savoury.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Rall White 2021
Price: R345

68% Chenin Blanc, 28% Verdelho and 4% Viognier. The nose is quite open and expressive with notes of pear, peach, quince, citrus and yellow apple plus a little spice while the palate is rich and broad with seemingly quite moderate acidity – the wine is nicely resolved and hence already remarkably accessible.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Rall Cinsault 2021
Price: R265

Grapes are sourced equally from Darling and Swartland, the former component undergoing 100% whole-bunch fermentation and the latter 50%. Extravagant and very pretty aromatics of rose, potpourri, red and black cherry, olive and fynbos. The palate is light-bodied and beautifully balanced – pure fruit, racy acidity and powdery tannins before a salty finish.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Rall Syrah 2021
Price: R265

NEW. From a Swartland vineyard on schist, winemaking involves 50% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting eight months in concrete eggs. Lovely fruit purity, bright acidity and fine tannins, the finish intensely dry. Really nicely observed and great quality relative to price.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Rall Red 2020
Price: R345

70% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 10% Carignan and 8% Cinsault. Red and black berries, fynbos, pepper and spice on the nose. The palate combines weight with freshness and fine tannins and the wine generally has a coherence about it that previous vintages might have lacked. The depth of fruit and smoothness of tannin are most sophisticated, and the clarity of winemaking vision has to be admired.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Rall Ava Syrah 2021
Price: R650

Grapes from two Swartland vineyards on schist. 100% whole-bunch fermentation. Stunning aromatics of red and black berries, olive, floral perfume, a hint of musk, pepper and spice while the palate is tremendously well structure with great clarity of fruit, bright acidity and firm yet fine tannins. Compelling now yet built to last at least a decade from now. Sublime stuff.

CE’s rating: 98/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


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