AA Badenhorst Swartland
This is a tremendously exciting small winery based in Swartland halfway between Wellington and Malmesbury producing great red and white. As well as the two premium labels covered here the winery also produces a well-priced second label red and white both called Secateurs. The Badenhorst cousins have restored a run-down cellar on their farm which was used originally as a winery in the 1930s. No doubt a key element in the quality of the wines is the holding of old bush vines including Chenin Blanc, Cinsault and some Grenache that is close to 60 years. These are planted in a range of soils with elements of clay, granite and shale providing a well-drained terroir. There is no crushing or de-stemming for either the reds or the whites. The dark-fruited pepper spiced Badenhorst red, a blend of Shiraz, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Grenache can get up to 4 months post fermentation maceration and ageing is in 500 litre used casks. The intense citrus, mineral scented white is a blend of Chenin Blanc (which it is felt is the most important variety), Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Verdelho, Chardonnay and a tiny amount of Sauvignon Blanc. Varieties that ripen at similar times are fermented together, others separately and then blended back after 13 months in used barrels. The output of the white is about half the red, just 500 cases or so but both are worth seeking out. Occasionally released as well is the Funky White made from a wide range of varieties and aged in a form of solera with up to five vintages. (DM)
To find out more about AA Badenhorst and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide South Africa..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines