The current generation of Young Guns has come of age with the epic 2015 vintage. The healthy and ripe fruit provided a platform for lighter wines, along with excellent concentration and balance. The vintage not only expresses individual terroir, but also exposes each winemaker’s particular style and character. Here are 3 magical wines that are a must for late summer drinking.
The Waterkloof Seriously Cool Cinsault is just that, seriously cool. Nadia Barnard has produced her best vintage yet, offering amazing purity of fruit, balance and intrigue. This is the kind of wine that will put light-bodied South African reds firmly on the world map. Produced from 40-year-old Helderberg bush vines, it completely over-delivers on price.
Tremayne Smith, the Mullineuxs’ assistant winemaker, has also produced a knockout in 2015. His Barebones Cinsault from old vines in Paarl offers an edgier expression of the variety, perhaps indicative of a more rustic Swartland style. While it is deliciously fresh and grippy now, the crunchy, pure fruit and rich tannins provide a backbone for ageing. This is very limited.
South Africa’s leading natural winemaker, Craig Hawkins, has also produced a stunning set of 2015s. Each wine offers unbelievable purity and better balance than his initial vintages. The Baby Bandito is produced from Swartland Carignan and expresses the grape’s red-fruited fun side. It is uncomplicated, natural and just downright delicious. See all of Craig’s 2015s here.
All 3 wines offer tremendous value.
Waterkloof, Seriously Cool Cinsault 2015 – R 120
This is an absolutely delicious wine, the best from this producer yet. The 2015 has beautifully restrained fruit, Rhône spice and a fresh, lively palate that ends refreshingly dry. Super stuff, great value and a must for your ‘weekly’ cellar. Must be enjoyed at around 12-14 degrees Celsius. – James Pietersen
The Blacksmith, Barebones Cinsault 2015 (limited) – R 120
This is a lovely edgy, light-styled Cinsault. It needs a little time to settle but offers great purity of fruit, with a medium body and firm finish. – James Pietersen
Testalonga Baby Bandito, Follow Your Dreams Carignan 2015 (limited) – R 115
From Carignan, whole bunch fermented. Cranberry, raspberry and pomegranate plus some scrub. Lovely pure fruit but not entirely without detail and structure. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 90/100