Thistle & Weed new releases

By , 25 May 2023

The age-worthiness of modern-era SA wine is an ongoing debate, but Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc as made under the Thistle & Weed label by viticulturist Etienne Terblanche and winemaker Stephanie Wiid seems to have what it takes to benefit from at least some time in bottle. The two recently showed a vertical from the maiden 2016 to 2021 and all the wines were in fine fettle, bar perhaps the 2020 which inadvertently saw some new oak during maturation. The 2022 has just been released and it plus the rest of the range are increasingly shaping has suitable for investment.

Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Springdoring Chenin Blanc 2022
Price: R345
Grapes from a Paardeberg vineyard planted in 1982. White peach, thatch and some gravel-road dustiness on the nose while the palate is rich and round – good fruit concentration and well-integrated acidity, the finish gently savoury.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc 2022
Price: R345
Grapes from a Paarl vineyard planted in 1961. Pear, peach and fynbos on the nose. The palate has good clarity of fruit, snappy acidity and a particularly dry finish. Vivid and poised.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Brandnetel Chenin Blanc 2022
Price: R345
From a Stellenbosch planted in 1980 with 32 different rootstocks for trial purposes. Exotic aromatics of peach, melon and pineapple. The palate has weight and depth – dense fruit, bright acidity and a gently savoury finish.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Khakibos White 2022
Price: R285
41% Verdleho, 28% Chenin Blanc, 17% Palomino, 10% Alvarinho and 4% Finao Pires. Subtle and intricate aromatics of white and yellow fruit, thatch and dried herbs while the palate has great clarity of fruit and bright acidity before a pithy finish. An unusual collection of varieties, but their union is very well judged, and the result is complex without sacrificing approachability in any way.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Knapsekêrel Cabernet Franc 2022
Price: R345
From Polkadraai Hills grapes. 15% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured in stainless steel tank and bottled early on account of the wine from this vintage being so immediately open. Inviting aromatics of rose, fresh herbs including just the right amount of mint, orange, plums, black cherry and a hint of earth. The palate is light bodied with pure fruit, fresh acidity and powdery tannins. Delicate and poised, this is a delight.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Nastergal Red 2022
Price: R285
36% Tempranillo, 24% Alicante Bouschet, 18% Touriga Nacional, 8% Pontac, 7% Souzao, 7% Touriga Franca. Matured for 12 months in third-fill barrels. Heady aromatics of dark berries, flowers and herbs while the fruit is very much to the fore on the palate – juicy, rich and full with bright acidity and crunchy tannins. This wine has that sense of unfamiliarity it’s always had but this vintage shows more vinosity than previous.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


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