Consistently recognised as one of SA’s top wineries, Tokara has finally entered the luxury market with the release of the 2015 Telos. Named after the Greek term describing the end of a goal-directed process, the 4 best barrels were selected from a 17-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon block planted on a 35° slope at 400m above sea level. Winemaker Miles Mossop quotes the small, and early, 2015 crop as the finest vintage he has ever worked with.
First launched in London and then Johannesburg, Tokara’s owner GT Ferreira presented the Telos against 6 of Robert Parker’s 100-pointers, including the likes of Latour and Cheval Blanc. Although it was of a different age and style, the Telos matched the precision, luxury and class of Bordeaux’s finest, showing that South African Cabernet Sauvignon is world-class. Rounded off with 5% Malbec and 3% Merlot, the wine is extremely precise, showing red rather than black fruit and unbelievable poise. The alcohol is an elegant 14% and offers a pure-fruited style with a hint of dried fynbos and luxurious, powdery tannins. See the full write-up by Greg Sherwood MW.
Although there’s a horde of great value Stellenbosch 2015s on offer, the Telos is a fitting farewell to Miles Mossop’s incredible term at Tokara. He hands over not only an unparalleled legacy of consistency but now a super luxury cuvée too.
Tokara, Telos 2015 – R 4,200
A 17-year-old single vineyard block making up a 1,000 bottle blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 3% Merlot, aged for 22 months in 63% new oak with medium toast and ‘house toast’. This young 2015 red blend displays an impressively perfumed nose with subtle potpourri and dried pink flower fragrance, violets and hints of lavender. Dusty graphite and gravelly minerality is tightly interwoven with attractive black berry, dusty bramble berry nuances and subtle fleshly cut hedgerow spice. The palate is sleek, lithe and particularly suave and fine boned with a very polished, sultry, light touch elegance and textural focus. There is already impressive complexity but also a modicum of classical restraint that seems to overtly shy away from elevated ripeness, oakiness or glossy sweet fruit characters.
This is a rare South African expression that boasts a vibrant natural acidity and very ripe, fine grained powdery mineral tannins that cushion a beautifully natural sense of balance, harmony and finesse, all elements coming together seamlessly and effortlessly at such an early stage in the wines evolution. A really polished, faultless, old world leaning expression that is undoubtedly a new and impressive tour de force on the South African fine wine scene. Drink this wine from 2020+ onwards and cellar comfortably for over 20+ years. – Greg Sherwood MW, 97/100