Restless River new releases

By , 29 September 2023

More vineyards are coming online, and the cellar has been enlarged at Restless River in Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Craig and Anne Wessels have been farming here for some 20 years, their credentials as one of the country’s most prestigious producers now surely beyond doubt, their Chardonnay in particular an industry benchmark. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:

Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2021
Matured for 12 months, 90% in 500-litre barrels of which 10% were new, and 10% in amphorae. A later vintage and the nose is a little more exotic than usual with notes of lemon and orange to go with blossom plus hints of oatmeal and flinty reduction. The palate is not without depth although alcohol is just 12.7% – pure fruit and zesty acidity, the finish possessing a subtle pithy quality. Great definition and poise.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Restless River Le Luc Pinot Noir 2021
Some 35% fermented whole-berry. Matured for 12 months in 228-litre barrels, 35% new. Seductive aromatics of red and black berries, musk, floral perfume, tea-leaf and white pepper while the palate has luscious fruit, bright acidity and velvety tannins. Full of charm and already quite accessible. Alc: 13.2%.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Restless River Main Road & Dignity Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Matured for some 22 months in 225-litre barrels, 20% new. Cassis, incense, violets, tea leaf and oystershell on the nose – very little herbal character, good or bad… Medium bodied and yet not short of fruit weight and structure while the tannins are fine, the finish properly dry. Alc: 13.8%.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

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