The Foundry new releases

By , 4 April 2022

2020 was the first vintage that Chris Williams made his own-label The Foundry wines outside of Meerlust (on business partner James Reid’s farm in the Voor Paardeberg) and also the first he started making extensive use of 500- and 1000-litre terracottas clay doliums for fermentation and maturation. “I’d done what I wanted to do at Meerlust. I realised time is the one thing you can’t get back,” he says. “The Foundry needed more focus”. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2021
Price: R250

Grapes from Voor Paardeberg. 55% fermented in older oak, 45% in clay pots. The nose shows pear, peach, flowers and spice plus the merest hint of smoky reduction while the palate has a great core of fruit and electric acidity. This is a wine of great focus, dense but not weighty, linear and precise.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

The Foundry Viognier 2020
Price: R250

Grapes from Stellenbosch. 30% fermented in clay pots. Some floral perfume before citrus, peach and Golden Delicious apple plus a hint of waxy character. Relatively weighty and round on the palate although quite restrained by comparison to most other examples – nice interplay between sweetness and freshness.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

The Foundry Roussanne 2020
Price: R250

Grapes from Stellenbosch. Fermented in 75% 300-litre barrels of which some 10% were new and 25% fermented in clay pots. Complex aromatics of citrus, peach pear, dried herbs, spice, earth and some yeasty complexity. Good depth and breadth on the palate with slight phenolic grip to the finish. This is a wonderfully layered wine that’s super-interesting to drink.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

The Foundry Grenache 2020
Price: R360

Grapes from Stellenbosch. 20% whole-bunch fermentation. 30% matured in clay. The nose is still rather primary but pretty with notes of strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, rose and white pepper while the palate shows pure fruit, zippy acidity and powdery tannins. Lovely clarity and plenty of refreshment factor.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

The Foundry Syrah 2020
Price: R360

Grapes from Voor Paardeberg, this is the first release of a Syrah since the 2016 vintage. 40% whole-bunch fermentation. 30% matured in clay. Dark berries, olive, a particular herbal note, lavender and pepper on the nose while the palate is well balanced with luscious fruit offset by snappy acidity and crunchy tannins.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

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