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Damascene 2020 vintage release

The 2020 vintage marks just the third release from Damascene – the partnership between David Curl and winemaker Jean Smit – but in this short space of time, the collection of site-specific wines have attracted a significant following. 

Dear Reader,

When face-to-face in conversation with Jean Smit, you know you have his undivided attention. His eyes lock in and you know he is really listening. Jean takes his job so seriously that anything you have to say about his wines, no matter who you are, is of the utmost importance. His dedication and passion is evident in this, the third release from Damascene.

The range of small production wines represent a project aimed at showcasing some of South Africa’s rarest vineyard sites. Jean would drive over 40,000 kilometers a year, he says, in search of these parcels. He is currently working with over 40 sites in over a dozen regions throughout the Western Cape. Two new wines have joined the Damascene line-up and with the release of the 2020 vintage (2019 for the W.O. Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon), there are eight wines being produced.

Each of the eight wines set a benchmark for South African wine for their level of quality, purity, individuality and overall class. Due to Damascene’s relatively small production, availability on most of the wines is unfortunately very limited and the W.O. Stellenbosch Chenin blanc (new), W.O. Franschhoek Sémillon and W.O. Stellenbosch Cabernet Franc are available on allocation only. Outside of these and exclusive to this release today we have set aside 36 mixed cases of 6 bottles each.

Please speak to your account manager about the wines and we will do our very best to accommodate your request. Preference will be given to those who purchased the wines last year.

Damascene line-up

W.O. Franschhoek Old Bush Vines Sémillon 2020 | R 435 | on allocation only
From historic bush vines planted in 1942 and 1962. A total of 1,951 bottles were produced.

W.O. Stellenbosch Old Bush Vines Chenin blanc 2020 | R 435 | on allocation only
A blend of fruit from three sites in the Bottelary region: Sonop (planted 1982), Houmoed (planted 1972), and Mooiplaas (planted 1980). A total of 1,395 bottles were produced.

W.O. Stellenbosch Cabernet Franc 2020 | R 435 | on allocation only
Situated on the cooler east-facing slopes of the Bottelary, this trellised single vineyard was planted in 2004. Grown on soils of decomposed granite, this low-yielding vineyard produces smaller bunches that offer incredible concentration. A total of 1,652 bottles were produced.

W.O. Stellenbosch Syrah 2020 | R 435 | limited availability 
Grapes were sourced from three distinct vineyard sites in the Stellenbosch district. The first two vineyards are both situated higher than 300-metres above sea level. The soils are dominated by decomposed granite. The third vineyard is nestled down in the cooler part of Devon Valley on deep Oakleaf soils. The vineyard on the Polkadraai Hills was planted on a southeast-facing. A total of 4,224 bottles were produced.

W.O. Swartland Syrah 2020 | R 435 | limited availability 
Grapes were sourced from three Swartland sites. The first bush vine block is situated on the foothills of the Paardeberg and deeply rooted in ancient free-draining decomposed granite soils. The second vineyard is in the heart of the Swartland, facing north. These bush vines are planted on Malmesbury shale. The dominant source is from the western foot of the Riebeek Mountains. This slope consists of an outcrop of schist that faces southeast.  A total of 2,595 bottles were produced.

W.O. Cederberg Syrah 2020 | R 435 | limited availability 
From a single mountainous vineyard planted at 940-metres above sea level, in 2006 on the oldest farm in the Cederberg (which dates back to 1790). A total of 3,285 bottles were produced.

W.O. Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 | R 435 | limited availability 
Fruit from the Helderberg, Bottelary and Vlottenburg. These mature vineyards are all based on granitic outcrops situated between 14 and 20 km from the Atlantic Ocean. A total of 2,699 bottles were produced.

Moya Meaker W.O. Elgin Pinot noir 2020 | R 275 | limited availability 
Five blocks of estate-grown Pinot noir (totaling 3.12 ha) that are stretched across a single south-facing slope in the Elgin Valley. A total of 3,534 bottles were produced.

Damascene 6-bottle mixed case

Only 36 mixed 6 bottle cases available 

Damascene | W.O. Stellenbosch Syrah 2020 | x 2 bottles
Damascene | W.O. Swartland Syrah 2020 | x 1 bottle
Damascene | W.O. Cederberg Syrah 2020 | x 1 bottle
Damascene | W.O. Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 | x 1 bottle
Moya Meaker | W.O. Elgin Pinot noir 2020 | x 1 bottle