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Steytler 1947 Chenin Blanc 2021

"From 74 year old vines, the aromatics are super complex and spicy with lovely nuances of wet straw, dusty white citrus, honied yellow peaches, fynbos and sweet pineapple confit. There is such focused depth, full bodied plump texture and complexity with fabulous nuances of tangerine peel, naartjie pulp, lychee concentrate and a honied bon bon intensity. A super impressive wine with power, breadth and weight but a balancing harmonious acidity. The true personification of delicious old vine Chenin Blanc statesmanship. World class from every angle. Drink now and over the next 25 years" – Greg Sherwood MW

Tenuta Tignanello, Tignanello IGT Toscana 2018

"This wine brought to mind precise imagery of tailcoats, striped dress pants, wingtip collar shirts and other gentlemen's fashion choices from the Roaring Twenties. Sporting a retro but classic personality, the Marchesi Antinori 2018 Tignanello is quite the dapper and jovial wine that hits the market just as much of the world is emerging from a dark chapter of lockdowns and coronavirus curfews. I love the optimism that springs bright with such clarity and detail from within this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The 2016 vintage was a benchmark for sure, but I prefer the 2018, thanks to that tinge of nostalgia or emotion that is so deftly rendered in this cool, long growing season."- Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

BLANKbottle Little William 2021 MAGNUM

"The wine is named after my chance meeting with a little boy called William on the Witzenberg mountains. It’s been a fascinating story from the start, but became even more bizarre at the end of last year, with another chance meeting.Little William reloaded!In January 2016, I was driving back from a tiny little vineyard in the Koue Bokkeveld (Ceres Plateau). Cruising along at the 100km/h speed limit, I came to a very winding stretch of road leading towards the Witzenberg pass. Suddenly, for a split second, I thought I saw something in the middle of the road. I had just come through a super sharp bend and had to jump on the brakes with both feet. When I finally got my 470 000-km-on-the-clock Toyota to stop, there, on the white line in the middle of the road, stood a little blonde boy. I guessed him around a year and a half old. He was in his nappies and had a white T-shirt on, perfectly camouflaged on the white line. Unsure of what to do once I'd taken him out of the road, I thought it a good plan to prompt him and see which direction he takes off in (with myself of course right behind).About 200 meters further along the road he (we) crossed a little bridge heading towards the other side of the canal. He turned up a dirt road which led to a farmhouse about 300 meters up a hill. Keeping up to his snail-like pace, we arrived at the house more or less 10 minutes later (in my experience with farm dogs, it wouldn’t have been wise to carry him). When the gardener saw us approaching, he called out to a woman at the house and judging by her reaction, she must’ve been his mom and he must’ve been missing for a while.It was a bit of an emotional and chaotic environment so, knowing he was safe, I just turned around and left without introducing myself.So each time I present a tasting with Little William wine as part of the line-up, I get the same question: “Why is it called, Little William?”, followed almost without fail by: “What does the family have to say about you calling a wine, Little William?” My answer is always the same: “I never went back, they don't even know the wine exists. But I am convinced there will be this one day where I’d be sitting at some local bar in Knysna, drinking a beer all by myself when the young guy next to me turns to me and introduces himself as William from Ceres." And I’ll be able to tell him: “Eendag, lank, lank gelede het hierdie oom jou lewe gered!”For 4 years I had the privilege of telling the story of little William. Until last year. When Chapter 2 happened.In November, we took our youngest son for a minor operation at Panorama Mediclinic, Tygerberg, Cape Town. The lady at reception looked at us with a puzzled look on her face. We later learnt that there had been a mistake on the paperwork and they were under the impression that he was an adult. They had subsequently booked him into an adult ward. The man next to him had drunk a cup of coffee at 6:00am that morning with milk in. His operation therefore had to be postponed and he obviously missed his theatre time slot. He had to wait almost the whole day for the next slot. He and Sebastian eventually left for the theatre at more or less the same time. I went to get us a cup of coffee, and as she always does, Aneen started making conversation with the milk-in-the-coffee guy’s wife. On my return Aneen said: ”They are from Ceres, tell her the little William story.” I cringed, thinking: "Why would I do that??" I tried to let her comment slide and filled the awkward silence with useless words. We carried on with the small talk and she ended up telling us that she is a vet and her husband is a farmer. “Where do you farm in Ceres?”, I asked. “In the Witzenberg mountains, on a farm called Blah-blah-blah”, she answered.And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, that was the name of the farm where I dropped little William that morning. It started dawning on me that it might be my Knysna-bar-thing moment happening in a totally bizarre, different way. “Do you have a son called William?” I asked. “No”, she replied, “but my nephew is called William and they live on the same farm, in the house next to the road.” We did the sums and he would’ve been exactly 1 and a half years at the time. So it turns out it wasn't a beer-in-hand pub in Knysna, but a coffee-in-hand hospital in Cape Town. I should've listened to Aneen right from the start... so I told her the whole story and she phoned her sister-in-law. “Did you ever lose William on the farm?” she asked (I don’t think that’s the type of story you volunteer to tell your extended family if not prompted). “Yes”, she said. “There was this one day…”PS: This incident made me think about everyone’s life stories. I’m convinced that these kind of things happen to everyone. The difference is that I just happened to call a wine Little William, and I have a reason to re-tell this story. If I didn’t, I would’ve possibly only re-told the story once or twice, but I can imagine how the finer details could've gotten lost between profit margins and VAT. I have a responsibility to convey the story in an honest and factual way. You know how easily a story gets blurry. So each time I drive the road, I recheck my facts: Where exactly did William stand? Distances? The name of the farm? The story then became part of our story. And that day when the lady mentioned Ceres, the first thing Aneen thought about was the boy in the road." Winemaker's notes

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru – “La Romanée” 2019

"A whiff of the exotic is present on the aromas of white peach, citrus confit and passion fruit. There is excellent punch and detail to the intensely stony medium-bodied flavors that conclude in a bone-dry and impressively long if somewhat lean finale. This is very, very tightly wound and as such I suspect that the finish will eventually flesh out and my rating assumes that this will occur over time." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “La Maltroie” 2019

"The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroye 1er Cru has a fragrant, chalk dust scented bouquet that opens nicely with aeration. The palate is well balanced with a lightly spiced opening, touches of orange rind and marmalade lending a welcome tanginess. It might not be a long-term Chassagne, though it is thoroughly enjoyable" - Neal Martin, Vinous

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru “Morgeot” 2019

"A pretty and much more floral nose features mostly ripe white orchard fruit and lemon rind scents. The rich, opulent and concentrated medium-bodied flavors possess fine length on the balanced finish that is shaped by citrus-tinged acidity. This too is lovely" - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2019

"Like the La Romanée, this too flirts with hints of exotic on the white and yellow fruit, passion fruit and jasmine tea aromas. The caressing and seductively textured bigger-bodied flavors possess good power on the lemony, very dry and impressively lengthy finish. I would add that this too is rather tightly wound, and I would advise holding it for at least 5 years first." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 1er Cru – “Les Caillerets” 2019

"Smoky aromas of green apple and bright citrus introduce rich, appealingly textured and intense medium weight flavors that exude a subtle bead of minerality on the bone-dry, moderately austere and solidly persistent finish. Here too some patience is advised." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Elio Grasso Barolo “Ginestra Casa Maté” 2017

"The 2017 Barolo Ginestra Casa Matè is a dark, mysterious wine. Black cherry, menthol, tobacco, licorice, spice, new leather and pine meld together in a super-classic expression of Ginestra. Deep, rich and enveloping, the 2017 is so impressive in the early going. Here, too, the finesse of the tannins is remarkable" - Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Elio Grasso Barolo “Gavarini Chiniera” 2017

"Grasso's 2017 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is fabulous. In fact, the Gavarini is easily one of the wines of the vintage because it retains all of its classic signatures, which is also the sign of a first-class vineyard. Bright and vibrant in the glass, the Gavarini pulses with energy. Crushed red flowers, mint, chalk, white pepper, cinnamon and orange peel give the 2017 a super-classic Nebbiolo profile, as expressed in a relatively high-altitude site. The precision and finesse of the tannins - so hard to find in 2017- elevates the Gavarini into the realm of the sublime." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Lucien Aviet & Fils, Trousseau “Les Bruyères” 2019

“Les Bruyères” is the name of the vineyard. This parcel of Trousseau is planted at a higher altitude on a south-facing slope where the soil composition changes from gravel to marl.

Lucien Aviet & Fils, Trousseau “Marne Rouge” 2019

The grapes come from a 40-year-old vineyard planted on red marl (marne in French) soils and once at the winery, are fermented with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured in oak foudre until bottling.

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia ‘Cicala’ 2016

"The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2016 Barolo Bussia Cicala offers a ripe fruit profile with layers of menthol and medicinal herb. The finish is beautiful, long and chalky, and you don't get as much alcohol in the Cicala (compared to Romirasco). The fruit is dried and streamlined, and this wine does show good promise for aging. The tannins are beautiful, coating your teeth and palate with no bitter edge. About 6,000 bottles were made". - Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru 2019…

"An overtly floral nose reflects notes of rose petal, lavender, acacia and violet along with nuances of red and black fruit, earth and a whiff of forest floor. There is excellent intensity, size, weight and power to the attractively textured big-bodied flavors that brim with minerality on the caressing but punchy finale. This beautifully balanced effort is in the classic mold of this wine as it's very clearly built for the long haul and again, I would suggest not touching this wine for at least a decade and two decades would not be much of a surprise." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2019…

Here too there is just enough wood present to remark upon mingling with the equally spicy nose that features notes of plum, various dark berries, exotic tea and hints of game. The sleek, cool and restrained larger-scaled flavors are finer still while flashing no lack of power and drive that really builds toward the intensely saline-suffused finish. This is very classy juice that should age effortlessly for the next two decades. - Allen Meadows

Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Grèves Premier Cru Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2019 Magnum

"A markedly floral-suffused nose blends red and dark currant scents with those of a plethora of spice and earth elements. There is impressive volume to the caressing but solidly punchy and powerful middle weight plus flavors that possess better depth and superb length. Excellent and very much built-to-age." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Echézeaux Grand Cru 2019…

" Here too there is just enough wood present to remark upon mingling with the equally spicy nose that features notes of plum, various dark berries, exotic tea and hints of game. The sleek, cool and restrained larger-scaled flavors are finer still while flashing no lack of power and drive that really builds toward the intensely saline-suffused finish. This is very classy juice that should age effortlessly for the next two decades." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Grèves Premier Cru Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2019

"A markedly floral-suffused nose blends red and dark currant scents with those of a plethora of spice and earth elements. There is impressive volume to the caressing but solidly punchy and powerful middle weight plus flavors that possess better depth and superb length. Excellent and very much built-to-age." - Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2019 Magnum

"If Kimmeridgian could be distilled, it would likely smell exactly like the nose of the 2019 Les Clos with the addition of wet chalk, citrus zest and oyster shell. There is equally good delineation to the snappy, painfully intense and overtly stony large-bodied flavors that deliver superb length on the balanced finale. This elegant and classy effort is also built on a base of almost pungent minerality and a wine that should age effortlessly"- Allen Meadows, Burghound

Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2019

"If Kimmeridgian could be distilled, it would likely smell exactly like the nose of the 2019 Les Clos with the addition of wet chalk, citrus zest and oyster shell. There is equally good delineation to the snappy, painfully intense and overtly stony large-bodied flavors that deliver superb length on the balanced finale. This elegant and classy effort is also built on a base of almost pungent minerality and a wine that should age effortlessly"- Allen Meadows, Burghound

Château L’Innocence de Séraphine Pomerol 2019

"The colour of this wine is a deep red-black right to the rim, with savoury marmite aromas complemented by a lovely nose of violet-infused fruit, rich and intense. It also displays fresh, toasty and really interesting notes that lead to a palate of ripe, spiced, black fruits, making it supple and medium-bodied. It is an elegant wine that also shows lovely cinnamon notes and is fresh and leafy too with a refreshing bitter cranberry twist and bite, but all nicely done, with a long, rich sweet finish." - Winemaker's notes