The wines of Tokara   
Ambitious new producer in South Africa's Stellenbosch region
 

Tokara is one of the new stars of the South African wine scene. Itís owned by GT Ferreira, who started financial company RCI (which in 1985 merged with Johann Rupert's Rand Merchant Bank) 40 years ago. In 1992 GT acquired a substantial property in the Simonsberg Mountain area of Stellenbosch and became friends with his neighbour, Gyles Webb of Thelema. Gyles encouraged GT to plant his property with vines, and the result was Tokara. The first vines were planted in 1998, and the first wines (2001) were produced under the Zondernaam label, until quality was sufficient for the Tokara wines, which were first made in 2005.

As well as the 60 hectares of vines on the home property, Tokara also have smaller vineyards in Elgin (Highlands Farm) and Walker Bay (Siberia in Hemel-and-Aarde). Miles Mossop is the winemaker, with consultancy from Gyles Webb. The second label Zondernaam is now discontinued; all wines are Tokara, with the creation of a separate reserve level.

Tokara Sauvignon Blanc 2009
A blend from all three properties. Very pure with lovely balance between the ripe tropical/melon/passionfruit notes and the fresh grapefruity/grassy characters. Lively and full. 90/100

Tokara Chardonnay 2009
From all three properties. Fresh and stylish with herb, melon and a bit of citrus character. Lovely pure fruit dominates here, with good balance. 89/100

Tokara Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Walker Bay
Precise, pure and grassy with lovely freshness. Intense and lively with lovely texture and good acidity. A pure wine. 92/100

Tokara Reserve Chardonnay 2008 Walker Bay
Complex, nutty, mineral nose is slightly reduced. The palate is focused and nutty with sophisticated oak and lovely fruit. 92/100

Tokara Directors Reserve White 2008
A blend of 28% Semillon and 72% Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 9 months. Precise, bright, grassy and lemony. Thereís some nice texture here as well as precise lemony fruit, with stylish oak emerging on the palate. A complex gastronomic wine. 93/100

Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Very fresh, minty, gravelly nose with bright berry and blackcurrant fruit. The palate is elegant with minty freshness, bright fruit, and a hint of greenness. 91/100

Tokara Directors Reserve Red 2006
72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot and 8% Merlot. Intense, pure and sweet with nice savoury focus. Minerally and savoury with nicely dense, earthy, spicy fruit and a grippy, gravelly finish. Quite stylish. 91/100

UK agent: Enotria

Wines tasted as 03/10  
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