Shannon new releases

By , 30 November 2023

Shannon Vineyards in Elgin is a pretty crack team – James Downes has become one of the country’s leading viticulturists while older brother Stuart, who handles marketing, is part of the Vinimark export team responsible for USA. Winemaking, meanwhile, is handled by the accomplished Gordon Newton Johnson of Newton Johnson Vineyards in Upper Hemel-en-Aarde. The resulting wines are, not unexpectedly, rather smart. Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases as follows:

Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2023
Price: Not yet released.
Includes 7.5% wooded Semillon. A top note of blossom, lime, apple, green melon and thatch on the nose while the palate is rich and thick textured, the acidity well integrated. Alc: 12.5%.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

Triangle Block Semillon 2019
Price: R250
Spontaneously fermented and matured for 11 months in French oak, 30% new. Expressive aromatics of lime, white peach, fennel, thatch and some earthiness. The palate is dense and layered, big acidity lending drive, the finish deeply savoury. Forceful in the best sense, a wine of character.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2021
Price: R345
Matured for 11 months in 228-litre barrels, 23% new. Exotic aromatics of orange, pineapple, caramel, honey, nuts and spice. The palate is rich and round with seemingly moderate acidity (full MLF completed). Will appeal to those who don’t like their Chardonnay too lean… Alc: 14%.

CE’s rating: 92/100. 

Oscar Browne Chardonnay 2022
Price: Not yet released.
Lemon, orange, dried mango, a slight waxiness and spice on the nose while the palate is dense and smooth textured, although tangy acidity stops it from becoming too unctuous. Polished and luxurious, full of flavour and that much better balanced than 2021. Alc: 14%.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir 2021
Price: R345
From clones 113, 115 and 667. 20% new oak used in maturation. Red and black berries, rose, fynbos, cured meat and spice on the nose while the palate is rich, round and flavourful. Bright acidity lends balance while the tannins have some crunch to them. Alc: 14.76%.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

RocknRolla Pinot Noir 2021
Price: R595
From a single vineyard planted to clone 113 in 2000. Matured for 12 months in 228-litre barrels, 50% new. Red and black berries, orange, musk, fresh herbs, earth, white pepper and vanilla on the nose. The palate is voluptuous – big volume, some heat from the 14.54% alcohol and smooth in texture.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Mount Bullet Merlot 2020
Price: R645

Grapes from a 3ha vineyard planted to five different clones. Matured for 20 months in 225-litre barrels, 25% new. Oyster shell, red and black berries, violets, herbs and earth on the nose while the palate is rich but balanced – dense fruit, fresh acidity and powdery tannins, the finish long and dry. Subtle and refined. Alc: 14.42%.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Black 2019
Price: R1 500
From two French clones of Merlot. 40% new oak used in maturation. Top notes of floral perfume and herbs before dark berries, olive and earth on the nose. The palate has excellent depth of fruit but also no lack of finesse, the acidity fresh and the tannins fine, great length to the finish.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


0 comment(s)

Please read our Comments Policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like our content?

Show your support.