Thorne & Daughters new releases

By , 4 June 2021

New Wave but not wilfully obscure, wines of refinement rather than weight and true to the Cape. That sums up the Thorne & Daughters portfolio from John Seccombe and the newly released 2020s are again wines that serious enthusiasts should make every effort to seek out. Tasting notes and ratings as follows:

Thorne & Daughters Tin Soldier 2020
Price: R305

From Swartland Semillon Gris.  50% skin contact. Gorgeous aromatics of potpourri, naartjie, red apple, bay leaf, spice and a hint of waxy character. Good fruit purity, bright acidity and a gently savoury finish – increasingly less esoteric as the grapes are picked riper and the amount of skin contact is reduced.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Thorne & Daughters Paper Kite Old Vine 2020
Price: R350

Grapes from a 1963 Swartland vineyard of Semillon and small amounts of Semillon Gris. Whole-bunch pressed and matured in old oak. Citrus, peach, apple, earth and a waxy character on the nose while the palate shows good fruit density – it comes across as almost plush on entry but ends dry.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Thorne & Daughters Cat’s Cradle 2020
Price: R305

Grapes from two blocks of Chenin Blanc on the Paardeberg, one planted in 1974 and the other in 1979. Super-complex aromatics of citrus, peach, potpourri, dried herbs, ginger and other spice plus some wet wool. The palate is dense, even succulent – great purity of fruit matched by lively acidity. Intensely flavoured with an extremely long finish, a slight bitterness lending interest.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Thorne & Daughters Snakes & Ladders 2020
Price: R350

From Skurfberg Sauvignon Blanc. Matured in old oak. A very particular and intriguing wine – the nose shows quite pronounced reduction before cut grass, hay, lemon, green melon and pineapple. The palate is marked by concentrated fruit plus punchy acidity – intensely flavoured and not without texture, the finish long and dry.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse Cape White Blend 2020
Price: R265

35% Semillon from Franschhoek, 28% Roussanne from both Stellenbosch and Paardeberg, 16% Chardonnay from Ceres Plateau, 15% Chenin blanc from Paardeberg and 6% Clairette blanche from Swartland. Aromatics that tantalise and beguile – pear, peach, lime, green apple plus nutty, earthy, waxy notes. The palate has weight but also focus – great fruit concentration, driving acidity and a savoury finish. Taut in structure, intricate in flavour profile. Perhaps not as obviously pleasurable as the superb 2019 but compensates for this by offering plenty worthy of intellectual contemplation.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

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Thorne & Daughters Copper Pot 2020
Price: R165

Grapes sourced variously from Shaw’s Mountain in the Overberg, Elgin and Bottelary. Partial whole-bunch fermentation before maturation in old oak. Red fruit rose and musk on the nose before a palate that has pure fruit, fresh acidity and soft tannins. Modest but most appealing.

CE’s rating: 88/100.

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Thorne & Daughters Wanderer’s Heart 2020
Price: R265

41% Grenache from Voor Paardeberg, 30% Syrah from both Stellenbosch and Swartland and 29% Mourvèdre from Bot River. A charming wine with aromatics of red berries, flowers, fynbos, fynbos and spice before a palate that is medium-bodied and well-balanced – good freshness and powdery tannins.

CE’s rating: 91/100.

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