Cape Wine (5) more highlights, including Craven, Alheit, Savage, Testalonga, JH Meyer

Some more stunners from Cape Wine.

Craven The Firs Vineyard Syrah 2017 Devon Valley, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. From a heavy clay outcrop: the clay gives some black fruit bass end even at low potential alcohol. Peppery and supple with black cherry and black pepper on the nose. Nice purity and elegance with amazing texture, purity and depth. So fine grained and elegant. 95/100

JH Meyer Mother Rock Liquid Skin 2017 Swartland, South Africa
This has 9 weeks skin contact, and is made like a red wine, with 100% stems. This bottling has no added sulfites, and is fermented in eggs. Cloudy and lively with lovely brightness. Shows pretty floral passionfruit, apple and pear notes. Fresh, appley and pure, and nicely intense with a grainy structure. 95/100

Savage Girl Next Door Syrah 2017 Coastal Region, South Africa
From a 0.38 hectare vineyard on the Stormhaven Estate where Duncan lives. He took over this small block and rehabilitated it, and it’s hands on viticulture to the degree that even though this isn’t a cheap wine, he makes no money from it. In 2017 he got one 600 litre barrel, and this year he got a 600 litre barrel plus a 225. So pretty and fine with a bit of meat and some black pepper. Smoothly textured but also with good structure. Very fine and balanced with freshness and finesse. Profound. 96/100

Alheit Huilkrans 2017 Skurfberg, Citrusdal Mountain, South Africa
This is the first bottling of this wine, from the Oudam farm, owned by the Visser family who the Alheits have been working with since 2011. The label pays homage to their son, Kallie, who died in 2017. From red clay soils at 450 m. Chris says that this is a caricature of Skurfberg Chenin, loaded with citrus and acid. There’s a faint hint of mint on the nose, and it’s fresh, linear and powerful with linear citrus and pear fruit. Concentrated and very fine with real precision. 96/100

Testalonga Lords of Dogtown Chenin Blanc 2017 Swartland, South Africa
Alas just 500 bottles of this made: a Chenin Blanc with no added sulfites from 14 rows of 36 year old vines on the Paardeberg. It’s salty, bright and refined with citrus and apple fruit. Vital and complex with lovely acidity. Structured, refined and complex. 95/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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