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Drink South African
23 July 2020

As another domestic sales ban takes effect in South Africa, the wine industry there has been thrown into turmoil once more. Exports have become a valuable lifeline in a country particularly hard struck by the pandemic, and we are delighted to extol the virtues of fine South African wines again. It gives us great pleasure to see small, quality-conscious producers at last achieving the recognition they deserve, across a whole host of truly exceptional wines that combine excellence with affordability. In fact, we can’t wait to release the 2019s in September; a vintage that has yielded some beautifully vibrant clear-cut wines, both red and white.

Until then we can’t recommend highly enough this devilish duo from maverick winemaker Donovan Rall. As featured in the Financial Times at the weekend, and on JancisRobinson.com two weeks ago, the Rall Red 2017 is a fresh, finely tuned Syrah-based red chock-full of character, while its partner in crime, the Rall White 2018, is a Cape White Blend, being Chenin-based with a high proportion of Verdelho and just a touch of Viognier. Both wines speak to a hands-off, minimal interventional style, all fermented with natural yeasts and raised in neutral barrels. These are thirst-quenching wines with tons of complexity and an unmistakable sense of place.

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