This is an exciting new range of wines from Radford Dale. They have been using the Vinum range for a while (it’s 20 years old), but here we have new wines, new packaging, and the wines massively over-deliver for the price. Full details can be found on their website. The new Vinums are due for release on 4th April, and will hit the UK retail market at £14/15, which is a nice price point for this quality level.
The Chenin Blanc typically includes around 40% of fruit from the vineyard supplying their flagship Chenin, Renaissance. Winemaker Jacques de Klerk has worked with this vineyard since 2009, and has rehabilitated it. Multiple pickings yield a range of ingredients for the Renaissance, which leaves lots of bits to go into this Vinum – there’s even a bit of skin contact. The Pinotage takes some fruit from their Frankenstein vineyard, plus other portions, and is made in a Burgundy meets Beaujolais style, focusing on the elegant side of this variety.
Because the Radford Dale Chardonnay in the terroir series will now come from the Radford Dale Organic farm in Elgin (ex-Elgin Ridge) this leaves the Polkadraai fruit free for the Vinum wine: this is a SE-facing site with 28 year old vines. And the Vinum Gamay fills the slot between Thirst and Antidote, and uses fruit from the young Polkadraai vines planted in 2017 (0.5ha) and 2019 (0.4ha). Finally, there’s the Pinot Noir, from Stellenbosch and Bot River, which may seem a bit surprising, and the Grenache which comes from 8 year old vines Radford Dale planted in Stellenbosch.
Radford Dale Vinum Grenache 2021 Stellenbosch, South Africa
13.5% alcohol. Supple, fresh aromatics of strawberry and cherry with some herbal overtones. The palate is light, fresh and direct with bright cherry and plum fruit, as well as some stony mineral notes and a twist of fresh herbs. There’s real drinkability to this light, elegant expression of Grenache, but there’s also a bit of stuffing too. Juicy and supple, and with lots of drinkability. On day two this really comes into its own. 93/100
Radford Dale Vinum Gamay Noir 2021 Stellenbosch, South Africa
11.5% alcohol. This is a very light, fresh, supple expression of Gamay, with cranberry and cherry notes, a slight leafiness and some real brightness. There’s lovely perfume and the fruit on the palate is deliciously crunchy – despite the low alcohol, this wine is ripe and it has a lot of drinkability. As with all these young Vinum reds, a decant is advised (they all taste great on day 2), and it can be served slightly chilled too. 93/100
Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2021 Coastal Region, South Africa
11.5% alcohol. Bright, vibrant raspberry and redcurrant fruit aromas with a liqueur-like sweetness and some freshness. The palate is bright, vibrant and focused with a slight sternness under the sleek, fresh cherry and plum fruit. There’s a touch of greenness as well as some cedar, adding some savoury elements/ This is direct, with nice purity, and superb drinkability and balance. 91/100
Radford Dale Vinum Pinot Noir 2021 Western Cape, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, bright and aromatic with some green herby hints as well as vibrant plum and strawberry fruit. Bright and quite elegant, with sweet raspberry, cherry and plum fruit on the palate as well as some notes of spice, tar and wet stones. This has lovely poise: it tastes quite Elgin-like, with that stony, savoury, slightly grunty twist under the vibrant fruit, which melts away into silky elegance on day two after opening. Massive drinkability and nice frehness. 93/100
Radford Dale Vinum Chardonnay 2021 Stellenbosch, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. This is stony, mealy and citrussy on the nose, with a hint of pear drop. The palate is lively and intense with a stony, mineral edge to the citrus fruit, a hint of peach and pineapple richness in the background, and some bready hints. But the key theme is keen lemony fruit with a twist of pithiness and a tapering stony finish. 92/100
Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2021 Stellenbosch, South Africa
12% alcohol. This is bright, vivid and citrussy with lovely acidity, but also some attractive pear and white peach notes. The keen acid line is the real backbone here: it’s got plenty of concentration, but it’s made in a linear, incisive style with real freshness, and a stony minerality. There’s some mandarin and citrus peel on the finish, adding interest. Don’t serve too cold. 93/100
UK agent: Les Caves de Pyrene
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