96 points and 95 points for the Family Vineyards 2020 Pinot noir and Chardonnay respectively from British Master of Wine, Tim Atkin in his 2021 South Africa Special Report. Today, we officially announce the release of the wines from the Newton Johnson family.
The Newton Johnson family has quietly been going about their business of crafting cool climate Pinot noir and Chardonnay in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley for well over ten years now. Their maiden vintage was 2008 so the release of the 2020 Family Vineyards Chardonnay and Pinot noir marks the thirteenth, or as Bevan Newton Johnson calls it, “the teenage vintage”.
“Hormones are starting to kick in. Thankfully no pimples in this vintage .”
Bevan Newton Johnson | Managing Director
The Family Vineyards range has always been comprised of three wines: Chardonnay, Pinot noir and the Rhône style red blend, the Granum. There is no release of the Granum this year. Winemaking duo Gordy and Nadia Newton Johnson have been working with Grenache noir a lot more and we can expect a revitalised Granum at a later stage. So, watch this space!
Of the 2020 vintage, Bevan says: “2020 has been a wonderful continuation from what we have started to see in 2019, fresher, tighter, and more energetic wines.” Much of this was due to the growing season. “[2020 was] an unprecedented vintage with remarkably long ripening”, Gordy says. “The Pinot Noir averaged 105 days of ripening from flowering to harvest, the first time we have exceeded the 100-day mark, that saw beautifully evolved and complex flavours with concentration and fine, ripe tannins. The white wines of 2020 also express remarkable definition and depth due to the length of ripening. In contrast with the norm, we had to wait patiently for ripeness instead of being chased by it.”
The wines arrive at the GD cellar this week and we are very excited to get them out there to our customers. We do advise some restraint though. Both the Pinot noir and Chardonnay require some time in bottle. These wines will only get better. In fact, to this end, we managed to secure some previous vintages of the pair of wines (2017 for the Chardonnay and 2019 for the Pinot noir) so please chat to us if you need some wine to buffer the waiting game on the newly released 2020s.
Please browse the entire range from the Newton Johnson family on our website by clicking the button below. You can place your order there or just send us an email and we will be in touch.
Family Vineyards 2020 release
Family Vineyards Pinot noir 2020 | Upper Hemel-en-Aarde | R 485
96 points | Tim Atkin, MW | 2021 South Africa Special Report
“The length of the 2020 growing season helped to produce Pinots with excellent balance and precision. This four vineyard blend – from Mrs M, Sandford, Seadragon and Windansea – is elegant, detailed and refined, with pale colour, wild strawberry, black tea and ginger flavours, electrifying minerality and savoury grip. 2022-27.”
Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2020 | Upper Hemel-en-Aarde | R 400
95 points | Tim Atkin, MW | 2021 South Africa Special Report
“Made with grapes from three sites – two north- and one south-facing, this is a very complete, balanced wine, with 30% new wood, citrus, oatmeal and cinnamon spice flavours, pithy acidity, a drizzle of cream and commendable palate length. 2022-27.”