Naudé Family Wines Releases the Long-Awaited Old Vine Werfdans Cinsault 2016…

If Chenin Blanc has become Ian Naude’s white wine calling card, then there is no doubt whatsoever that Old Vine Cinsault is his red equivalent despite the cult following for his incredible Grenache wines. Ian Naudé was recently over in London to launch a comprehensive selection of his new vintage releases including his Platter 5 Star Langpad Colombard 2021, his Platter 5 Star Oupa Willem 2019 Cape Heritage Blend, his Grenache 2019, and of course his long awaited Old Vine Cinsault 2016.

This benchmark expression of Darling / Swartland Old Vine Cinsault has now been labelled the Werfdans, an Afrikaans name for the small dust whirlwinds that spin and dance around the dusty coastal vineyards of the Swartland. If you are not familiar with Ian Naude’s Old Vine Cinsault wines, be sure not to miss this new creation that rivals the greatest expressions produced in South Africa from the likes of Eben Sadie, Duncan Savage, Donovan Rall and Mullineux Family Wines’ Leeu Passant venture.

Naude Family Wines Werfdans Old Vine Cinsault 2016, WO Darling, 12.5% Abv.

The fruit for this 100% Darling 43+ year old vine Cinsault was sourced from the late Boetie van Reenen’s farm in the Swartland. While the 2014 vintage was a slow burner that sizzled invitingly until it finally exploded with exuberance after a few years in bottle, the 2015 release was and is a long-standing icon wine that came close to redefining premium Cinsault in South Africa. In the 2016, Ian Naudé has shifted into sixth gear, coaxing some of the most seductive textures and flavours out of his old vine fruit. The aromatics are positively brimming with marzipan, Turkish delight, dried coriander seeds, violets and rose petal perfume with a subtle kiss of lychee exoticism. On the palate the quality shift is witnessed in full focus with a beguiling combination of sweet seductive red berry fruits, harmoniously textured concentration and a long, full, persistent finish that simply crashes the senses mainframe and announces something very very special indeed. This certainly is next level seductive Cinsault quality from the old vine master himself. Drink the 2016 now and over the next 10+ years.

(Wine Safari Score: 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

Available in the UK from Museum Wines, Handford Wines and Vino SA.

Tasting Imvini Wethu – Another Incredible Old Vine Project Wine Hits the EU Market…

This is a super exciting new wine from South Africa made in association with the Protégé Programme run under the supervision of Andrea Mullineux (Mullineux Wines), the current Cape Winemakers Guild Chair.

Imvini Wethu means “our vines” in Zulu, and the 2019 vintage is the maiden release of a wine conceived by the German trade with the intention of empowering future winemakers and protecting South African wine heritage, with the Cape Winemakers Guild’s Protégé Programme and the Old Vine Project run by Rosa Kruger and Andre Morgenthal being the specific beneficiaries.

Imvini Wethu Old Vine Cinsault Pinotage 2019, WO Western Cape, 13.5% Abv.

All this wine needed was 15 minutes in a decanter before it really started to perform! A blend of 70% Cinsault and 30% Pinotage, this wine shows the very best of both varieties in a wonderful synergy. The Cinsault grapes come from a Franschhoek vineyard planted in 1932 and the Pinotage from a vineyard in Stellenbosch planted in 1973. There is plenty of perfume and lift with seductive notes of Turkish delight, rose petals and violets. The nose is packed full of red and black berry fruits, black cherry, dark sweet plum, vanilla spice and a dusting of mocha choc powder. The palate is fleshy and fresh, juicy and accessible with a sleek seamless texture, soft creamy tannins and a long harmonious finish. A wine that delivers a whole lot of frolicsome pleasure in a very more’ish manner. Drink now and over 6-8+ years.

(Wine Safari Score: 91+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

A Towering South Africa Chenin Blanc Good Enough to Bring Tears to Your Eyes – Tasting the Huilkrans 2017 from Alheit Family Wines…

This is the first vintage that Chris Alheit has bottled something from the Oudam farm as a stand-alone wine.  Chris has been working with the Visser family since 2011 and has been planning this wine since 2015.  They chose the name Huilkrans, the name of a cliff on the farm that weeps when it rains.  Since the untimely passing of the owner’s son Kallie last year in 2017, the name now has an unintended double meaning. Even so, they’ve elected to keep it unchanged.

Chris Believes this wine is absolutely thrilling. Despite the excellent form of Magnetic North, Huilkrans might well be his best wine of the 2017 vintage? This is benchmark Skurfberg Chenin Blanc loaded with pithy minerality, charged with electric energy and is drenched with citrus and vibrant acidity. You can expect this to be impossibly rare and collectable from the moment it is released. So act quick!

Alheit Family Wines Huilkrans Chenin Blanc 2017, Citrusdal, 14.2 Abv.

Made from a vineyard on the Skurfberg from 42 and 32 year old Chenin Blanc plantings owned by the Visser family. This young nervy Chenin shows a wonderful melange of pure minerality, a granitic heart, wet hay, grated apple, yellow citrus, white peach and crunchy green pear with subtle hints of orange blossom, tangerine and dried herb spice adding extra backing complexity. Incredible harmony and balance, this wine has a very precise, polished textural focus but piercing concentration, crystalline acids and a profound liquid mineral depth. A thought provoking wine in so many ways, expertly delivered by Chris Alheit. This is Grand Cru in all but name and certainly ranks among the top Chenin Blancs ever produced in South Africa. Drink now until 2035+

(Wine Safari Score: 97+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

The Old Vines Project Goes Live In London With One of the Tastings of the Year…

The 28th of June was a momentous day in the history of South African wine. The Old Vines Tasting at South Africa House in London presented by Andre Morgenthal and Jo Wehring of Wines of South Africa, profiled 77 of the most profound red and white wines produced in South Africa’s diverse winelands. 


The debate surrounding the identification, preservation and promotion of South Africa’s old vines has long been championed by viticulturalist Rosa Kruger, and now with Ex-Wosa marketing specialist Andre Morgenthal on board, the project has moved into a higher gear. 


Most of the top old Vine wines are made in very small quantities, so it was heartening to see the support given to this tasting from South Africa’s top producers, who provided some true rarities and highly sought after fine wines. Only by drinking these gems, and understanding the blood, sweat and tears that go into making these labours of love, can consumers understand why these wines cost more to buy but offer something very special qualitatively.


No, old vines alone don’t guarantee quality. But the producers involved in the Old Vine Project, and the related certification for 35+ year old vines that will follow imminently, will serve as an important seal of authenticity and commitment to both the quality of old vine wine production and the preservation of these historic vineyards. 


But as Andre Morgenthal pointed out, the the Old Vine Project’s work will also extend to the greater protection, preservation and healthy vine husbandry promotion of 20 to 30 year old vineyards that will be the old vines of the future. This can surely only be a good thing for the industry as a whole.

Some of the Fine Wine Safari highlights of the tasting are illustrated below. This was certainly one of the most exciting array of South African wines presented in London in our generation. High praise indeed, but the scores speak for themselves.
Old Vine Tasting:

Raats Family Wines Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2016 – 94+/100 GS


Kaapzicht Wine Estate 1947 Chenin Blanc 2016 – 95/100 GS


David & Nadia Chenin Blanc 2016 – 94/100 GS


Thistle & Weed Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc 2016 – 93+/100 GS

Hogan Chenin Blanc 2016 – 94+/100 GS

DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016 – 94+/100 GS

AA Badenhorst Golden Slopes Steen 2016 – 95/100 GS


Alheit Vineyards Radio Lazarus Chenin Blanc 2016 – 95+/100

Simonsig Estate Chenin Avec Chene 2015 – 94/100 GS

Gabrielskloof Elodie Chenin Blanc 2015 – 93+/100 GS


Botanica Wines Mary Delany Collection Chenin Blanc 2015 – 95/100 GS


Bosman Optenhorst Chenin Blanc 2016 – 95+/100 GS

Dewaldt Heyns Family Wines Weathered Hands Chenin Blanc 2013 – 94/100 GS


Adoro Wines Naude Chenin Blanc 2013 – 96+/100 GS


Alheit Vineyards Cartology Chenin Blanc Semillon 2015 – 95/100 GS

Alheit Vineyards Cartology Chenin Blanc Semillon 2011 – 96/100 GS

Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines Old Vines White Blend 2014 – 95+/100 GS


Sadie Family Wines t’Voetpad White Blend 2016 – 97/100 GS


Alheit Vineyards Magnetic North Chenin Blanc 2016 – 96+/100 GS


Alheit Vineyards La Colline Vineyard Semillon 2016 – 97+/100 GS

Thorne & Daughters Paper Kite Semillon 2016 – 95+/100 GS


Rickety Bridge Landau du Val Semillon 2014 – 95/100 GS

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2015 – 95/100 GS


Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2004 – 96/100 GS


Adoro Wines Naude Cinsaut 2014 – 95/100 GS


AA Badenhorst Raaigras Grenache 2016 – 93+/100 GS

Elemental Bob Cosmic Flower Tinta Barocca 2017 – 93+/100 GS


Sadie Family Wines Treinspoor Tinta Barocca 2016 – 96+/100 GS

Dewaldt Heyns Family Wines Weathered Hands Pinotage 2012 – 93+/100 GS

Seek these wines out and buy with confidence!