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Kershaw Smugglers Boot Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir made from French clones PN667, PN115 and PN113.
The name derives from the time of trade embargoes in South Africa when growers & winemakers smuggled grapevine material into the country by hiding the cuttings in Wellington boots. The Smuggler’s Boot range celebrates that ingenuity.
Attractive strawberry, savory and star anise spice linger on the nose. Juicy and sumptuous on the mid palate with breadth of flavor offset by a nimbleness of fresh acidity, friable tannins and sinuous mouthfeel, this Pinot unwraps to earthy, fennel, chocolate and a hint of incense to a long supple finish.
Handpicked grapes were first bunch sorted on a conveyor before the stems were removed and the destemmed berries sorted to remove jacks and substandard berries. After a 3-day maceration in 500kg open-topped fermenters, the uncrushed grapes began a spontaneous fermentation. A gentle pigeage program was charted and the grapes remained on skins for 10-16 days.
The free-run wine was racked to a combination of 50% French oak barrels (10% new) and 50% breathable plastic eggs with the remaining pomace basket-pressed. Malolactic then proceeded followed by a light sulphuring after which the wine was racked off Malolactic lees and returned to cleaned barrels for an 11-month maturation. No finings, simply racked and light filtration prior to bottling.
Richard Kershaw’s personal suggestions for dishes include charcuterie, its salt and fat being complemented by the delicate spicy notes and fruit; Pork loin with honey, pepper, and lemon-zest glaze; Carpaccio; duck cassoulet; ovenroasted monkfish with garlic mashed potatoes; seared tuna; wild mushroom risotto; a simple beet salad with some hazelnuts and ricotta cheese; a slice of Brie or Gorgonzola dolce.
Surrounded by mountains, the Elgin district sits in the Western Cape of South Africa. The year-round cool climate is perfect for producing grapes with rich, subtle flavors.
Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, our Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.
Richard Kershaw Wines was established in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, South Africa’s coolest wine region. Focusing on apposite noble grapes, i.e. ones with the ability to produce world-class examples, our Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah are made by South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard Kershaw.
Winery Philosophy: Our commitment is to make the best wines possible from the vine clones best suited to our unique terroir. Our grapes are grown in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape of South Africa. We produce only a very limited number of cases of Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay and Kershaw Elgin Syrah each vintage. Our aim always is to produce some of the best wines of their style in South Africa.
Owner: Richard Kershaw MW
Date Founded: January 2012
Born and raised in the UK, Richard travelled extensively before settling in South Africa in 1999 to make wine full time. He established Richard Kershaw Wines in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, the country’s coolest wine region, choosing to focus on apposite noble grapes (ones with the ability to produce world-class examples) and now has a stable of award-winning, much in demand wines including Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir and Kershaw Deconstructed Chardonnay and Syrah.
One of only 10 Masters of Wine who actively make their own wines and South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, Richard is much in demand when not in the vineyard or cellar. A wine show judge for many prestigious competitions around the globe, he is also part of the educational panel for the Institute of Masters of Wine, lectures for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in South Africa, and shares the breadth of his knowledge with students and consumers via talks, tastings and blogs.
Our grapes are grown in the cool climate vineyards of Elgin in the Western Cape of South Africa. We produce a limited number of cases of Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir each vintage under our Clonal Selection range, and site- soil- and clone- specific Elgin Chardonnay and Syrah in our Deconstructed range. We have recently introduced our GPS Series range which explores unusual sites from outside the Elgin region, and our Smuggler's Boot range in which Richard uses a variety of winemaking techniques to produce easy drinking wines. Our aim always is to produce some of the best wines of their style in South Africa.
The Elgin Valley benefits from higher altitude, ocean proximity, specific cloud cover sequencing, high cold units and a large diurnal range, similar to Southern Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, which enables the germane grapes, Chardonnay and Syrah, to show a sense of place.
Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay makes use of the lower-yielding Dijon clones, namely 76, 95 & 96 (developed at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France), offering a restrained, mineral style focused on elegance with a white, fruit character, some oatmeal, and complexity gained from percipient wood.
Kershaw Elgin Syrah makes use of local clones 9c and 22 giving subtlety and precision built on fine tannins that educe harmony, freshness and flavours of black fruit, iodine, medicinal notes and black pepper.
Kershaw Elgin Pinot Noir makes use of French clones PN667, PN115 and PN113 giving floral attributes underscored by purity, focus and freshness framed by fine powder tannins yet cushioned by a succulent texture and flavours of black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry.
Each Clonal Selection wine is made from 3-4 small parcels on terroir-specific plots with particular soils types. Each Deconstructed wine is made from clone specific, soil specific site in Elgin. They are all handpicked into small lugs and vinified in Elgin travelling no more than 10-15 minutes between vineyard and cellar, avoiding unnecessary crushing and premature juice oxidation. In the cellar, they are handled minimally using a gravity-fed system that avoids pumping and no products are added to the wine.
Winemaker: Richard Kershaw MW
Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jouissance is sourced from the single vineyard established and farmed by Mark Lingenfelder at his home estate. Mark’s decades of experience as a vineyard manager and consulting viticulturalist have provided him the depth of experience to reach the pinnacle at his own property. Having worked with storied wineries over the years, we are grateful our paths have crossed enabling us to work with him for our Russian River designate. He tends the vines himself while relying on neighbor Lee Martinelli to provide additional help at the peak times. We work with a mix of Pommard and Dijon 667 vines from his oldest and youngest blocks – aged wisdom combines with youthful vigor!
The 2021 growing season was a welcome success after a more varied and challenging 2020. The vines came on with aplomb, demonstrating the rich fruit concentration we expect – even if the crop was meager. The ongoing drought in California served to further accentuate the character and concentration of the fruit. While warmer conditions have prevailed in other areas, the coastal areas of California continue to benefit from the maritime influence and moderating influence that it brings.
We fermented in our one ton, open-top tanks after filling by gravity. A warm fermentation with a combination of native and isolated Burgundian yeasts produced excellent and focused flavor extraction, complemented with traditional punch-downs by hand. The wine was aged entirely in Francois Freres cooperage, 40% new, and racked once, gently, prior to bottling. Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling. 151 cases produced.
Bright fruit notes dominate the aromas with bright cherry, plum, and boysenberry underlaid by allspice and clove. On the palate the wine is liquid velvet, it’s silkiness segueing into a burst of fruit and spice that rides high on the palate while gradually opening to deeper berry, tea, and baking spices. It is a refreshing and lively Pinot Noir in its youth that will continue to fill out in depth and complexity over the next 2-5 years.
Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
To unpack this Pinot Noir is to dig through layer upon intriguing layer of the storied Dundee Hills appellation. 2021 finished with a bang and is already considered the vintage of the century for many Willamette Valley wineries, and for good reason. But it didn’t necessarily start that way. Heat spikes and limited water were themes early on, to the tune of 116° F in some parts of the valley.
The 2021 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir touts all the hallmarks of Archery Summit's storied appellation. It begins with brambleberry, ripe rainier cherry, blackberry blossoms, cocoa powder, and spice on the nose. The palate is just as lively, with fresh, juicy red fruit backed by graceful tannins and acid. Finishing with spiced oak and a mouth-coating minerality, this wine is a case study in the magic of the Dundee Hills.
Yet, thanks to water reserves in the soil itself and some timely viticultural movements, the vineyards persevered through the heat and water limitations. The dryer season accelerated picking times, making the fruit ripen a bit earlier than normal. September rewarded us with cool nights and the lower-than average yields set us up to make wines with abundant character, intensity and balance. The winery is so grateful for the moisture-abundant, microbially-rich and chemical-free soils that lovingly nudged the vines towards the finish line.
No one is naïve about the difficulties and challenges of growing Pinot Noir away from its home in Burgundy (even there, of course, it isn’t easy). Pinot has taken to Oregon’s Willamette Valley with remarkable success, though, and especially to the red-soiled Dundee Hills. This 2021 wine is a fine example of the charm, balance and satisfaction that fine Dundee Hills Pinot can provide. Translucent scarlet in colour, with magnetically attractive raspberry scents, once on the palate the wine is soft-contoured yet energetic, with arresting intensity of fruit. Here the raspberry shades into something more curranty and tenacious, and there are refreshing bitter notes in the finish, too, with a hint of earthiness perhaps derived from the clays of volcanic origin in which the vines grow. The warm edge of cool climate? Perhaps – and it makes for beautiful drinking.
-Decanter 97 Points
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
The 2021 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is pale to medium ruby-purple in color. It swans out of the glass with showy notes of kirsch, juicy raspberries, and fresh cranberries with hints of lavender, iris, iron ore, and mossy tree bark. The full-bodied palate is jam packed with bright, energetic black and red berry flavors, giving off a firework display of mineral and floral accents, supported by seamless freshness and a firm, fine-grained texture, finishing long, long, long. This is simply stunning.
-Wine Independent 97 Points
When we consider the potential of a piece of land to grow world-class wine, we immerse ourselves in the physical characteristics of soil type, depth, texture and drainage, slope aspect, sun exposure, et cetera—myriad complex details. On site potential alone, Jentoft likely sits at the top of our entire vineyard portfolio.
The site’s coastal marine soils are remarkably shallow with underlying sandstone bedrock poking through the topsoil. Lean, “boney” soils generally yield low-vigor vines and powerful wines, and that’s what we have here. The potential is incredible, and now that these vines are mature, we’re seeing the promise realized.
Our first vintage of Ryan Pinot Noir was 2002 and it featured Dutton-Widdoes Vineyard at its core. This vineyard is one of the earliest plantings in Green Valley – 1984. At that time the vineyards were wide spaced, planted without irrigation and grown on a trellis that shaded the fruit. Now, all these years later we have hardy, experienced vines that have pretty much seen everything, and in these days of climatic extremes, these deep-rooted vines can tolerate drought and heat without issue. The fruit is uniquely characterful – wild berries, rich umami/truffle notes, underbrushy/woodsy complexity. When we layer in some bright coastal Jentoft fruit, the blend comes alive and infuses every corner of your palate. I’ve always loved that first 2002 Ryan bottling and this new vintage takes me back to our earlier DuMOL days. A wine for reflection.
The aromatics highlight the essence of our coastal Green Valley environment: wild berries, thyme, spearmint, truffle and freshly tilled soil. The wine is poised, vibrant and dynamic with a dark fruit pastille core then cherry, licorice, and briary notes. Concentrated and deep but always bright and quite tight knit with drawn out length and fresh focusing acidity on a spicy finish. Drink between late-2023 and 2032.
The 2021 Pinot Noir Ryan has a medium ruby color and autumnal scents of truffle and forest floor, cinnamon and Earl Grey tea leaves complementing a core of wild berry fruit. (In 2021, the wine comes from the Dutton-Jentoft and Widdoes vineyards rather than 100% from Jentoft as in previous vintages.) The medium-bodied palate is supple and detailed with a concentrated core of mineral-driven fruit. It has a silky texture, energetic acidity and a long, layered finish. This is so delicious and very easy to drink!
-Wine Advocate 97 Points
Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sourced predominately from the estates that are defined by their proximity to the coast and Russian River climate, the wine displays vivid crimson and aromas of violet, Morello cherry, and black tea. Velvet tannins on the palate ride along a juicy backbone of flavors such as cranberry, Blood orange, and Damson plum. The finish is long, powered behind a crisp acidity and appealing red clay-like minerality.
Hailing from the newly established West Sonoma Coast AVA, this inaugural release displays deep ruby in tint with Bing cherry, wild mountain berry, and an ethereal note of damp earth. Vibrant red and blue fruits dance on the palate, accompanied by oyster shell and a stony tension in character with its coastal influences. A silky texture and uplifted acidity add a sophistication and intensity to this wine, as well as a remarkably long finish.
The 2021 Pinot Noir (West Sonoma Coast), a new wine in this range, is lights out. Rich, ample and bold, the 2021 races across palate with layers of purplish fruit, lavender, spice, menthol, licorice and spice. A dollop of stems adds nuance, but without dominating the overall balance. There's terrific acidity and structure to play off the natural fruit richness that is such a distinctive attribute of the best sites in the appellation.
-Vinous 96 Points
Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot.
A wine of considerable charm, energy and finesse, 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque ruby red in color, and opens with aromas of ripe cassis, blackberry, espresso and cedar. Although powerful below the surface, the wine is extremely focused and well-balanced, with silky tannins, ample freshness, and vibrant structure, that lead to a crescendo in the lengthy, polished finish.
Full-bodied with lots of layered fruit and round, creamy tannins. The palate shows lovely ripe-berry character with chocolate and hazelnut and a long, flavorful finish. Hints of black truffles. Plenty going on here with a firm framework that gives the wine form and interest. Try it after 2022.
-James Suckling 95 Points
Far Niente Post & Beam Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
At Post & Beam, we make wines of pure expression, built on generations of hands-on experience producing acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Backed by the expertise and legacy of Far Niente Wine Estates, we use time-honored techniques to make exceptional wines that can be enjoyed upon release. Our expertise of winemaking at the highest level has enabled us to create wines that seamlessly unite tradition and modernity.
The 2022 Post & Beam Cabernet Sauvignon displays seductive aromas of briar patch and plum sauce on the nose before leading onto a palate that is well-structured yet elegant. Round and textured on the palate, the entry is layered with cassis and blackberry. The finish exudes vanilla, mocha, and cocoa flavors alongside resolved tannins.