Savage new releases

By , 17 August 2022

“Consistency is our motto. We try to make wines of poise and restraint but most of all, wines that are alive,” says Duncan Savage of Savage Wines and, it must be said, he and his team are succeeding admirably. Tasting notes and ratings for the soon-to-be-released wines from the 2021 vintage as follows:

Savage White 2021
69% Sauvginon Blanc and 31% Semillon. Matured for 10 months in 500-litre barrels, 20% new. Subtle aromatics of peach, nectarine and blackcurrant plus a little vanilla and spice. The palate shows excellent fruit concentration with a creamy texture and well-integrated acidity. Polished, rich and round.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Savage Never Been Asked to Dance 2021
Chenin Blanc from a Paarl vineyard planted in 1956. Hay, dried herbs, lime, white peach and some struck-match reduction on the nose while the palate is precise and focused – great fruit purity and snappy acidity before a pithy finish.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Savage Follow The Line 2021
93% Darling Cinsault and 7% Syrah. 50% whole-bunch fermented. Cherry and cranberry plus hints of rose and white pepper on the nose. The palate is seemingly almost weightless (alcohol is 13.1%) with fresh acidity and fine tannins. Possessing arresting fruit purity, this is very elegant.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Savage Thief in the Night 2021
86% Grenache, 9% Cinsault and 5% Syrah, grapes from Piekenierskloof. 20% whole-bunch fermentation. Understated notes of cherry, plum, pomegranate plus earth, spice and a little reduction on the nose. The palate shows good fruit density, fresh acidity and powdery tannins. Relatively broad (alcohol is 13.6%) but hardly opulent, just very harmonious.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Savage The Girl Next Door 2021
From a 0.38ha vineyard in Fish Hoek. 50% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 10 months in foudre. Expressive aromatics of dark berries, some floral perfume, fresh herbs and black pepper on the nose while the palate shows good clarity of fruit, bright acidity and nicely grippy tannins, the finish super-savoury. Currently tight and austere, this needs at least two or three years in bottle.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Savage Are We There Yet?
A 50:50 blend of Touriga Nacional and Syrah from Malgas. 10% whole-bunch fermentation. Some flinty reduction before red and black berries, lavender, fresh herbs and pepper on the nose while the palate has great structure and balance – a dense core of fruit matched by driving acidity and tannins that are firm in the best sense. The most improved wine in the range.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Savage Red 2020
From a Stellenbosch vineyard on decomposed granite. 50% whole-bunch fermentation while maturation lasts 12 months in old 500-litre barrels before a further 10 months in foudre. Heady aromatics with top notes of musk and violets before red and black berries plus pepper. The palate shows great fruit density, fresh acidity and fine tannins. A refined, seamless wine – very good structure without being too weighty or forceful.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Savage Not Tonight Josephine 2021
From Piekenierskloof Chenin Blanc, the grapes dried for three weeks to make a straw wine. Despite an alcohol of just 7.5g/l, this is quite the most opulent wine. Naartjie, peach, apricot, pineapple, hay and honey on the nose while the palate is arresting if nothing else – a dizzying amount of sweetness plays off against fierce acidity.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.    


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