Tembela Wines maiden releases
By Christian Eedes, 19 May 2021
Banele Vakele was born in the Eastern Cape and grew up in Khayelitsha. Fascinated by the ability of a simple berry to produce something as complex as wine, he gained a B. Agric degree from Elsenburg in 2015 before participating in the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme. In late-2019, he took over as assistant winemaker at Savage Wines and has now launched his own label called Tembela Wines named after his late mother. Tasting note and ratings as follows:
Tembela Verdelho 2020
From Stellenbosch grapes. Matured for 11 months in an old 500-litre barrel. The nose shows apple, naartjie and spice with a hint of leesy reduction in the background while the palate has good depth of flavour with driving acidity and nicely grippy quality to the finish. Long and savoury. Total production: 600 bottles.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
Tembela Syrah 2020
From Stellenbosch grapes. 30% whole-bunch fermentation and maturation as above. The nose is fiercely peppery but there also notes of red and blackberries as well as fresh herbs while the palate shows striking concentration, punchy acidity and very grippy tannins. Dramatic stuff!
CE’s rating: 90/100.
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