This Week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous

Welcome to this week's Vinous Top Ten! Each week we compile a list of top ten wines from the Vinous database that you need to add to your wine wish list. With all the various regions, producers, and grapes, no week will be the same! All of the wines listed in this feature are available for purchase on Banquet . This week's must-try wines are from Neal Martin’s article, Finding Cool Sunshine: South Africa . Enjoy an excerpt from his article and his notes for this week's top ten below! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Postponed several times due to matters beyond my control, thankfully the intermittently showstopping wines of South Africa were worth the wait, proving that the pandemic has not slowed down the momentum of the Cape." --Neal Martin, Finding Cool Sunshine: South Africa, April 2021 1. 2019 Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2. 2017 De Toren Fusion V 3. 2019 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 4. 2019 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 5. 2019 Ken Forrester Wines The FMC 6. 2019 The Sadie Family Wines Mev. Kirsten 7. 2019 The Sadie Family Wines Pofadder 8. 2019 The Sadie Family Wines Treinspoor 9. 2019 Thorne & Daughters Paper Kite 10. 2019 Thorne & Daughters Snakes & Ladders

Thorne & Daughters

Paper Kite Cape of Good Hope Old Vine Sémillon 2019

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2019 Paper Kite expresses the old-vine Sémillon with great clarity, presenting dried honey, walnut, touches of almond and a subtle smoky scent. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. More of a textural Sémillon than one of conspicuous flavors. Slightly resinous on the finish. Excellent. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Sadie Family

Pofadder Swartland Cinsault 2019

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2019 Pofadder contains 80% whole-cluster Cinsault matured in used foudre. It has an extremely well-defined bouquet of pine cones and mint-infused red fruit. The palate is well balanced with good grip on the entry, a mixture of raspberry and wild strawberry fruit leading to an herbal finish that just needs a little more grip and density. Still, this is an excellent OVS from Sadie, though I would not put it at the top of the pile this year. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

De Toren

Fusion V Stellenbosch Red Blend 2017

Delectable Wine
9.1

The 2017 De Toren Fusion V, the Left Bank Bordeaux-based blend, 90% raised in 50% new French oak, is deep garnet in color. It has a well-defined blackberry, bilberry and soy-tinged nose, touches of pencil shaving coming through with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, almost Médoc-like tannins, quite structured and more austere compared to older vintages that I have tasted, especially in the context of a ripe growing season. Noticeably bitter toward the finish. Personally, I would afford this a couple of years in the cellar just to shave the edges, but it is a commendable Stellenbosch Bordeaux blend, one that cohered nicely after two or three hours. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Sadie Family

Mev. Kirsten Chenin Blanc 2019

Delectable Wine
9.6

The 2019 Mev. Kirsten, which is pure Stellenbosch Chenin, is taut and precise on the nose, displaying a similar marine influence as the Kokerboom, plus touches of fern and lanolin. The saline, slightly nutty palate is supremely well balanced with a killer line of acidity and touches of sour lemon on the aftertaste. This deserves 4–5 years in bottle, as it has huge potential. A quite brilliant wine from guru Sadie. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley Pinot Noir 2019

Delectable Wine
9.1

The 2019 Pinot Noir is Walker Bay in terms of Wine of Origin rather than Hemel-en-Aarde, since much of their Pinot Noir was rejected after wildfires tainted the fruit. The majority of fruit was sourced from benevolent growers in the valley, and completely destemmed but not crushed, then matured in 24% new French oak. This has an open, quite herbal bouquet of vibrant red and black fruit, underlying sous-bois notes coming through with aeration. The well-balanced palate offers fine-grained tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Open and expressive, with a pinch of black pepper on the cohesive finish. Given the trauma suffered this vintage, this should be considered a success, not least because it still seems to bear the imprimatur of Hamilton Russell. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Boekenhoutskloof

The Chocolate Block Cinsault Blend 2019

Delectable Wine
8.8

The 2019 Chocolate Block underwent whole-berry ferment in concrete and stainless steel. It has a lifted bouquet of mint-tinged blackberry and raspberry fruit plus light licorice notes. The palate is grippy on the entry. A spicy and peppery Chocolate Block with just a little reduction toward the finish, which feels a little drier than usual (though a second bottle showed more flesh). (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Sadie Family

Treinspoor Swartland Tinta Barocca 2019

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2019 Treinspoor, 80% whole-cluster Tinta Barocca matured in old foudre, presents a crisp, well-defined bouquet of blackberry, briar and wild fennel scents, gaining intensity all the time in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. Taut and crisp, almost pixelated in style, leading to a sensual, mulberry-tinged finish. Very elegant and refined. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

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Ken Forrester

The FMC Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2019

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 2019 FMC, which comes from pure Chenin Blanc bush vines planted in 1974, has a subtle, precise bouquet of white flowers, peach skin, kumquat and light apricot scents, very pretty and charming. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. This builds in the mouth, fanning out wonderfully on the finish without losing an ounce of precision. Superb. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Chardonnay 2019

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2019 Chardonnay is whole-bunch-pressed and 93% barrel-fermented with 27% new oak. It has a clean, crisp bouquet of citrus fruit infused with smoke and hazelnut aromas, quite understated in style. The palate is well balanced, taut and linear, displaying fine acidity and gaining depth toward the persistent, saline finish. This is a superb Chardonnay from Hamilton Russell. Excellent. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago

Thorne & Daughters

Snakes & Ladders Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Delectable Wine
9.0

The 2019 Snakes & Ladders consists of Sauvignon Blanc from the Citrusdal Mountains. It has a potent bell pepper and gooseberry nose that maybe lacks the complexity of John Seccombe’s Chenins. The palate is well balanced with good weight. Bitter lemon, orange peel and light saline notes define the finish. This is a fine Sauvignon Blanc that should drink well for 3–6 years. (Neal Martin, Vinous, April 2021)
— a year ago