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A A Badenhorst Family Red 2017

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south africa
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We firmly believe that Adi Badenhorst is the most exciting winemaker in South Africa. He is also the most frustrating. His laid back, self-deprecating, playful manner keeps you guessing and makes you wonder whether he has any idea what he is actually doing, whether he just chucks some grapes into a vat and hopes for the best, but we know full well that there is a huge amount of expertise that goes on behind closed doors, when no one is around to witness his skill and diligence ...and spoil his reputation! Part of his charm is his teasing rhetoric, his wide-eyed puzzlement at any form of investigation and his answering of a question with a question. After a few days in his company, however, you begin to realise that the important thing isn't the hows and the whys, but the simple pleasure of the wine in the glass. Damn! He's like one of those eastern gurus who lets you see that the answer was in front of you all the time, you only had to change your focus to see it.

Tasting Notes

The fruit is lifted and bright, yet sweet – pronounced grenache and cinsault vibrations with hints of garrique herb. Neither dense nor over-ripe. 

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Silk-fine raspberry, red cherry and blueberry fruits. The palate is so supple, no tannins at all to begin with – they emerge gradually and gracefully and are fine yet firm by the end. It’s juicy, a little spicy, a little herbal, with a purity and salty terroir minerality giving the impression of granite. Very refreshing. Savoury yet lissomly fruity and dewy fresh.


“The Shiraz that makes up the bulk of this wine is bought in, but the remaining 41% of Cinsault, Grenache and Tinta Barocca is all from the farm. Showing the concentration of low yields in a drought year, this old wood-aged cuvée is still light on its feet, marrying red and black fruit flavours, some Mediterranean herbs and savoury tannins. Drink 2021-28.”
Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2019, 94/100
“Light perfume, with red & darker fruit & ferrous savouriness on bright, vital 2017. Shiraz (59%), cinsaut, grenache, tinta. Foot-trodden whole bunches for light extraction. Lengthy period on skins accentuates elegant, notably dry tannins. Complex & satisfying.”
Platter's Guide, 4.5* (93/100)
“Aged in 40-year-old foudres, the 2017 Family Red Blend is dark ruby in color and scented of dark red and black fruits. Medium to full-bodied, with good acidity, bright and fresh fruit hits the mid-palate, followed by structured dusty-floral tones and shows a good tannic structure. Spice notes linger on the finish, with some slightly bitter red fruit on the back end. This is a nice wine with good focus and complexity, and it's still young and tight and should age nicely in the years to come.”
Anthony Mueller, Wine Advocate, 92/100

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