Tokara earned a Top 10 spot in every Prescient Winemag panel report they entered this year! This consistency is particularly impressive considering that these were all blind tastings. After 2 decades of producing fine wines at the foot of the Simonsberg, their 2017 reds are, to my mind, the best set to be released to date.
We have the last remaining tranche of the 2017 Director’s Reserve Red available. As one of the top Bordeaux blends in Stellenbosch, this is your chance to add some to your collection. It is joined by the best-in-class 2017 Director’s Reserve White, which is consistently excellent, but simply brilliant in 2017.
However, hailing from what is clearly becoming the best Stellenbosch Cabernet vintage to date, the 2017 Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon offers incredible value for a wine of such stature. It is a leading example of the powerful elegance that defines the region’s Cabernets. With 4 of Tokara’s wines achieving 90+ scores in Winemag’s 10-Year-Old Wine Report, we are certain that they offer decades of maturation potential.
Rounding out the red offering is the newly released 2017 Reserve Collection Syrah which is plush and full fruited, with nicely weighted spice. Finally, from a great white wine vintage, the 2019 Reserve Collection Chardonnay is equally accomplished. It offers everything you’d want from a Stellenbosch Chardonnay. While pure fruited, it has a sense of restraint and just a hint of reduction following on to a super-fine, savoury finish – it is very smart!
Tokara, Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Beautiful aromatics of red and black berries, some pleasant herbal character and a hint of vanilla. The palate is full bodied with dense fruit, fresh acidity and fine tannins. Possessing layers of flavour, the finish long and dry, this is a very stylish offering. – Winemag Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2020, Top 10
‘Stellenbosch and Cabernet Sauvignon are synonymous,’ says Karl Lambour. ‘You get finesse in this area.’ You do indeed, especially in a vintage like 2017. Aged in 44% new wood, this is a textbook expression of the grape, all dried herbs, mint and blackcurrant leaf, with fine tannins, impressive focus and depth and stylish oak. Drink 2022-29. – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 94/100
Tokara, Director’s Reserve Red 2017
Matured for 22 months in French oak, 54% new. A wonderfully enticing nose with top notes of flowers and herbs before red and black fruit plus pencil shavings. The palate has great purity and freshness to go with fine tannins – poised and precise. – Winemag Prescient Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report 2020, Top 10
Part of a very impressive current range from Tokara, this is every bit as good as the Director’s White. Marrying Cabernet Sauvignon with 27% Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, aged in 54% new wood, it’s refined, elegant and leafy, with on point tannins, wonderful freshness, stylish oak spice and the structure to age further in bottle. 2022-29. – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 95/100
Tokara, Director’s Reserve White 2017
69% Sauvignon Blanc and 31% Semillon. Fermented and matured for nine months in 400-litre barrels, 29% new. A complex nose with top notes of honey and thatch before citrus, peach and blackcurrant plus a hint of flinty reduction. The palate is full but balanced with great purity of fruit, fresh acidity and a saline finish. Has a reined-in power about it. – Winemag Prescient Sauvignon Blanc Report 2020, Top 10
Always among the best white Bordeaux blends in the Cape, this is especially impressive in 2017, one of the best recent vintages in South Africa. Combining Sauvignon Blanc with 31% Semillon, it’s herbal, complex and layered, with some smoky wood undertones and flavours of toast and pink grapefruit. Drink 2020-25. – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 95/100
Tokara, Reserve Collection Syrah 2017
25% whole-bunch fermentation. Matured for 20 months in older French oak. Initially some floral perfume before dark fruit and spice plus an earthy quality. The palate is concentrated and deep – plenty of sweet fruit and sleek tannins. A typically polished effort from this cellar. – Winemag Prescient Shiraz Report 2020, Top 10
This delicious Syrah – a big improvement on the 2015 – comes from a single steep site on a mix of decomposed granite and sandstone. With 25% whole bunches and 20% new wood, it’s meaty and intense with notes of incense and rosemary, grippy tannins and a fine, refreshing finish. Drink 2020-26. – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 93/100
Tokara, Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2019
Fermented and matured for nine months in French oak, 36% new. A super-complex nose with notes of burnt matchstick, lemon and orange plus attractive oak. The palate is rich and intensely flavoured but equally possesses a lovely line of acidity while the finish is long and saline. Powerful without sacrificing intricacy. – Winemag Prescient Chardonnay Report 2020, Top 10
Chardonnay often slips under the radar at Tokara, such is the impressive quality of the rest of the range. Essentially a single vineyard wine located at 360 metres, this is a brilliant first release from Stuart Botha: mealy, taut and well balanced, with subtle, flinty reduction, scented 36% new wood and some texture from 40% malolactic. Drink 2020-25. – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2020, 93/100