International businessman Johann Rupert’s model wine-enterprise, named for his late brother, has 18th-century Franschhoek estate L’Ormarins as its mountain-silhouetted home. The venture encompasses an internationally awarded sextet of brands, and visitor attractions such as the 100+ year retrospective Franschhoek Motor Museum, linked to two tasting venues by bespoke trams. Grapes are sourced from the venture’s prime vineyards in Darling, Swartland, Elandskloof and the home farm, as well as other significant sites including old-vine parcels around the winelands. Vinified in custom, dedicated facilities such as the Cape of Good Hope Cellar, equipped with on-trend, amphora-shaped Italian concrete tanks. The team’s commitment to incremental improvements in both the vineyards and cellar is reaping rewards in the bottle.
From selected sites & soil types, 2014 is admirably restrained & linear (whereas Cape of Good Hope sibling is rich & broad), still taut even after 5 years in bottle, with structure for further 5. 80% new wood. Limited 800 cases.
Chardonnay sparkling’s New World fruitiness offset by vibrant seam of acidity, racing tiny bubbles & fresh lemon-toned finish. 2013, retasted, still tightly wound, needs ±5 years to reveal full charms. 20% barrel fermented, 4 years on lees in bottle.
Something of SA institution, this sibling to Anthonij is cab franc-led, with merlot & cab (40/35/25). 2015 attractively compact, smooth & well-formed, delicious now but can age good few years. Improves on 2014 (4 stars, 89 pts). Also in magnum.
Fruit from small suburban vineyard in the Helderberg, minuscule 269 cases. Vanilla-toned 2014 as rich as 2013 but also enlivened by tangy acidity, shaped by stemmy tannins. New barrique fermented, then 24 months in same vessels.