Geelkapel, Muscat de Frontignan, Swartland, 2017

  AA Badenhorst

It is perhaps surprising that for all the wines we encounter, very few actually taste of grapes. Well, in the case of Muscat de Frontignan, aromas of fresh grapes, Sharon fruit, baking spices and hazelnuts soar from the glass. A 100% skin fermented wine, with a brilliant yellow - gold colour, this is a wine quite unlike any other. A little wild but satisfying in a way that is hard to pin down. Savoury, rocky with salt and buttery waxy fruit, and just a hint of oxidation that serves to liven up the saline elements. Just 2-3g of residual sugar, and aged for 11 months in old casks, it is bottled without fining or filtration.

Contains Sulphites.

About AA Badenhorst

Adi Badenhorst is one of a handful of producers who has really reinvented the image of South African wine abroad. In doing so he has inspired a whole host of "New Wave" producers to seek out and refocus on the Swartland's local and historic grape varieties, and work a range of old, troublesome vineyards. The results speak for themselves and Adi Badenhorst has firmly established himself as one of South Africa's leading producers, with a reputation for straight-talking and being a bit unpredictable! Rather like the man himself, the range is imbued with enormous personality and complexity in an unmistakably Swartland style. That such a thing is recognisable at all nowadays is testament to this outstanding region, and where they once erred on the wild side and proved a little too edgy for some, the Badenhorst wines are now cleaner than ever. Thankfully they have not lost any of the distinctive savoury, spicy flavours that have made this charismatic man a star.

Appellation: Swartland

Swartland is a large wine-producing area 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa. Traditionally a wheat-producing region, it now specializes in making rich, fruit-driven wines particularly from the Shiraz, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage grape varieties. Swartland covers a large area, Encompassing the vineyards on the northern side of the Paardeberg mountain in the south to the plains of Piketberg in the north. The smaller ward of Riebeekberg and the Kasteelberg Mountain lie in the eastern part of the region, while the cooler district of Darling separates the area from the Atlantic Ocean. The topography is varied, and vineyards can be found on steep mountain foothills or on gently folding hillsides.

Grape Type: Muscat

There are four main varieties of Muscat, the finest being Muscat à Petits Grains, followed by Muscat of Alexandria, then Muscat Hamburg and the lesser Muscat Ottonel. Renowned for its grapey aromatic character, Muscat is the great Mediterranean vine of antiquity, producing a variety of white wine styles, from the full-bodied dry whites of Alsace, to the sweet, fortified Muscats of Beaumes de Venise, Rivesaltes and Frontignan, to the lightly sparkling Moscato d’Asti wines of Piedmont that make for enthralling, refreshing aperitif or after dinner drinking.