Wednesday Wines – Episode 125 – Reyneke New Releases

Episode 125 – Reyneke New Releases

7th September 2022

The new releases from Johan Reyneke are nothing short of stunning. A few of the wines below are in stock in a handful of wine merchants, while the others are still a little way off, but I am told they will arrive before too long. I have listed older vintages in their place to tide you over! Regardless, this winery doesn’t put a foot wrong, and, as you can see, the prices are wickedly enticing, so fill up if you would like to taste the fruits of the labour of a true Cape pioneer.

2021 Reyneke, Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Biodynamic; 13.5% alc. (£17.99, current vintage is 2020, www.dbmwines.co.uk; £17.60, current vintage is 2020, www.vinvm.co.uk; £16.95, www.gales.wine). 

There is much more to this wine than you might expect, from the complexity of the nose to the layers of fruit found on the palate.  This is not a predictably well-upholstered Sauvignon Blanc but a wine with attitude, edge, precision and a couple of wonderful surprises.  Near-exotic notes caress the senses, but puncturing these familiar tones are more sensual flavours – spiky green succulents, celery fronds, green peppercorns and lashings of grassiness.  Unlike most Sauvignons, citrus is not the sole theme here because pear skin and tart apple flavours bring a three-pronged attack that keeps you guessing.

2020 Reyneke, Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Biodynamic 12.5% alc. (£20.99, www.dbmwines.co.uk; £21.00, www.thewinecellarlouth.co.uk).

This Chenin is as layered and rewarding as the Sauvignon above, but its flavour palette is entirely different.  This time, the overarching theme is smooth, clean, calm, and unswervingly direct, with a very long finish following a compellingly slender frame.  Dressing this scintillating frame is a gown of exquisite flavour that swirls and changes shape as every second passes.  Peach, honeysuckle, quince, pineapple husk and lemon balm are offset by raspy astringency, steely composure, pebble-fresh minerality and microscopic electrical pulses that charge this and every Reyneke wine with unrivalled energy.

2020 Reyneke Organic, Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Africa 14% alc. (£17.25, current vintage is 2019, www.capewineandfood.com; £14.25, current vintage is 2018, www.shekletonwines.co.uk). 

As you may by now (see my articles on The Great Australian Red – the epic blend of Cabernet and Shiraz), I adore this style of red wine.  Granted, the object of my affections is usually Australia, but this 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon blend is a thrilling nod to this incredible blend.  Hints of spice and earth underpin glorious blueberry fruit, and the result is a lip-smacking, freshly fruit-driven wine with a delightful bitter finish.  It is a rare take on the TGAR blend, and Reyneke knows precisely how to blend these two grapes to maximum effect.  

2020 Reyneke, Syrah, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Biodynamic 13% alc. (£17.99, current vintage is 2019, www.dbmwines.co.uk; £21.99, current vintage is 2019, www.thewinereserve.co.uk; £17.99, current vintage is 2019, www.shekletonwines.co.uk).

This time, a densely earthy wine seemingly made with a kilo of pepper spice, faint gamey tones, haunting woodsmoke and a couple of litres of a Vampires drink of choice.  This is a pagan creation with more than enough Northern Rhône hallmarks to confuse even the most ardent Francophile wine lover.  Classy and refined with old-school guts combined with impeccable modernist freshness, you cannot afford to miss out on this exquisite wine, so dip your toe in with the 2019 and then fill your boots with the epic 2020.  

2019 Reyneke, Cornerstone, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Organic 13.5% alc. (£20.75, www.vinvm.co.uk).  

On the 2nd of April last year, in my MoneyWeek column, I wrote up the extraordinary 2017 vintage of this wine. You can find it here, on this very website.  The 2019 vintage is another sensational vintage under the Cornerstone label.  Made from 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is an upright, elegant and gentlemanly red wine with none of the rakish charm of the Syrah but oodles of ripe mulberries and controlled tannins on the finish.  Youthful, vitally fruity, impeccably balanced and, pound for pound, a devastatingly attractive, keenly priced, globally relevant Cabernet – this is another wine you simply have to taste.