Four from South Africa, including Glen Carlou, Saxenburg and De Grendel

I enjoyed these four wines. Nice to see Glen Carlou back to form, as well.

De Grendel Op Die Berg Chardonnay 2019 Ceres Plateau, South Africa
13% alcohol. From vineyards at 950 m with continental conditions. There’s a bit of spicy oak, vanilla and almond here, but also really fresh, linear acidity and taut lemony fruit, with a bit of apricot and some orange peel notes. Lots of intensity, showing precision. Just a baby: this could develop in interesting ways. 91/100

Glen Carlou Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Cape Town, South Africa
13.5% alcohol. This is picked at three different maturity levels, and each lot is fermented separately. It’s a really bright, expressive Sauvignon with fresh passionfruit and guava notes, with a hint of elderflower, kept fresh by good acidity. Fortunately, the greenness is a minor theme here, with the emphasis on lovely expressive fruit. 90/100

Saxenberg Private Collection Shiraz 2016 Stellenbosch, South Africa
14% alcohol. This is ripe, supple and appealing. There’s a hint of greenness under the lush blackberry and cherry fruit, with a nice core of sweet fruit leading the wine. Good freshness, too, finishing with more of the green character. 89/100

Glen Carlou Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Paarl, South Africa
14% alcohol. This has a sweet gravelly nose with some blackcurrant and spice notes. The palate shows nicely concentrated sweet black fruits with a smoothness and lushness. It’s a ripe, sweetly fruited, refined red wine with an ease to it. Very well made in this style. 89/100

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