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Restless River Le Luc Pinot Noir 2021

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south africa

Tasting Notes

Honestly, this is a beautiful wine. With great depth and plush fruit, hints of well integrated oak, and just glimpses of tertiary sous bois notes beginning to appear, that will continue to develop. It's likely their best Pinot Noir since their 2017. It was so good that I have put it alongside a couple of good vintages of the special Gevrey-Chambertin Vieille Vigne Fourrier (£255 a bottle for the 2021) to demonstrate this, and it more than held its own. It was also used at 67 Pall Mall for a dinner to launch the latest vintage of Dom Perignon Rose, alongside a couple of fine Burgundies, and it stole the show. I think it has a bit more dimension and fullness, with complexity and flavours that will develop beautifully until around 2030.

More Info

Restless River is a rising star which has quietly achieved cult-status for its brilliant, Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and super fine yet intense Cabernet Sauvignon. Launched in 2012 by Craig Wessels, their farm is located in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. It's home to some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay vines in the region (planted in 1998). At Restless River, things are done in an unhurried way, with great dedication and attention to detail.  Their production is done by hand, resulting in limited quantities of each wine, and demand far exceeding supply. Restless River is defined by its terroir, and Craig Wessels' thoughtful and careful winemaking allows it to be the star of the show. "At its best, South Africa is increasingly terroir-driven. Craig Wessels of Restless River says that it’s about “building wines in the vineyard, not the winery”, trying to reflect a place rather than a style that’s imposed in the cellar." - Tim Atkin MW, South Africa Report 2023.  "His Chardonnays offer real Burgundian allure and his occasionally Volnaysian Pinot Noirs." - Neal Martin, 



“Tart cherry, cola and intense dark fruits on the nose. Liquorice, plum and fresh acidic frame the palate. Fine tannins, crisp and vigorous, with its red-fruited charm. Terrific length and freshness, very smooth on the finish”
Decanter Pinot Noir Tasting
“Bright crimson. Firm, ambitious nose. More burgundian than most South African Pinots! Very subtle with violet notes and it may even develop mushroom notes. Really polished, fine tannins.”
Jancis Robinson -
“95 points - Craig Wessels doesn’t always get the praise he deserves for this Pinot Noir, which is often among the best in the Hemel-en-Aarde region. Intense, layered and well structured, it has a hint of good reduction, plum, raspberry and black cherry fruit, vibrant acidity and subtle sweetness from 30% new barrels. One to cellar. 2024-31”
Tim Atkin MW - South Africa Report 2023
“His Chardonnays offer real Burgundian allure and his occasionally Volnaysian Pinot Noirs.”

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