The Vineyard Party 'Here Be Dragons' 2018

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south africa

Tasting Notes

Just 901 bottles produced of this Stellenbosch Semillon that incorporates 40% skin fermented having been destemmed, and 60% whole bunches. Properly golden in colour, with lots of apple, spiced currants, apricot skin and lime. The palate is amazingly concentrated and extraordinarily unique - with lime - lime leaf and zest too, green cardamon pods and anise too.

More Info

From the Platter Guide's Newcomer of the Year 2022, The Vineyard party is one of South Africa's most exciting new brands and micro-producers! Produced by Jolette Steyn, her maiden 2018 releases focus on two Semillons from the same Stellenbosch vineyard produced with some more unusual vinification techniques. Jolette seeks out sustainably farmed vineayards that prioritise biodiversity, and works with avant-garde, low intervention techniques in the cellar. Both unusually named wines come with wonderful stories behind them too. "Here be Dragons" has two reasons - one, for Jolette's long term fascination with dragons and their inclusion as illustrations on ancient maps in unexplored territories as drawn by cartographers. And secondly, as taken from the Sherlock Holmes series, when Sherlocks asks his brother why he is needed, or why he should go on with his work. His brother, Mycroft, replied: 'Here Be Dragons'. It's a quote that Jolette had written down to help her remember that fortune favours the brave, to always be creative and challenge the norms. 


“Golden in colour and incredibly spicy on the nose. Golden currants, camphor, pine resin, gorse brush, lily of the valley, linalool, white pepper. Pretty extraordinary – and that's just the nose. The texture on this wine is so pronounced that the moment it was on my tongue, I felt a long line of goosebumps down my spine, almost like an electric shock. It's like sea glass. And it's as briny as a rockpool. Barnacle rugged, limpid purity, samphire-ribboned, the edges and ribs of the finish festooned with a delicate green-cobnut foam. Bee pollen, tarragon, dried Persian lime. The flavours crash in like waves, glisten, momentarily, on the rocks of the bones of the wine, hiss as they draw back through the mouth, and then they're gone leaving the tang of salt and the memory of power and bare cliffs and a sense of waiting. For the next wave. 17.5”
Tamlyn Currin,
“Yellow/gold colour. Lovely aromatics with some lime, a bit of green, and rich honey and apricot notes adding an extra dimension. The palate is fresh but rich at the same time, with lovely green, chalky Semillon characters meshing well with nuts, toast and spice, and also some exotic apricot characters as well as some orange peel and well integrated tannic structure. A really lovely wine of real depth, showing off Semillon in a beautiful way. 94/100”
Dr Jamie Goode, The Wine Anorak
“The 2018 Here Be Dragons includes 60% whole bunch fruit, pure Sémillon like the I'm Your Huckleberry but slightly deeper in color. It presents a light dried honey and desiccated orange peel nose, plus a touch of nutmeg in the background. The palate is balanced, fresh and tensile, with a fine bead of acidity, good salinity and a bit of pepperiness toward the finish. Worth seeking out. 92 points. Drink 2021-2027”
Neal Martin, Vinous

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