Platter’s 2018 over Tierhoek

Tierhoek Chenin Blanc Reserve 2015 (93 pts)
Single-vineyard, differently vinified to its sibling, natural ferment in seasoned barrels, 9 months on lees. Lime cordial & unblanched almonds, rather than 2014’s stonefruit, 2015 has more intensity, is as tightly knit. Years off its peak.
 
Tierhoek Straw Wine NV (93 pts)
Just 150 cases of NV; 30+ year old hillside chenin vines, grapes air-dried, then in an older barrel solera for 1-6 years. Flor-like top note, savoury, Old World. Then an explosion of sweet flavours, all intense, mouthwateringly delicious.
 
Tierhoek Grenache 2016 (90 pts)
From 60 year old bushvines. Vivid fruit in 2016, underlying fynbos, always impresses with its typicity, unwavering purity. Deftly oaked, tannins are supple, when you get fruit this good you showcase it, don’t overwhelm. Sleek & polished.
 
Tierhoek Syrah-Mourvèdre-Grenache 2016 (88 pts)
Proven Rhône combo, all contributing to 2016’s complexity; dark fruit, campfire smoke, scrub & pepper, but without ignoring drinkability, smooth & juicy, suave tannins.
 
Tierhoek
The remoteness and wild beauty were some of the reasons why Cape Town-based Sandy Sandell and late husband Tony bought this Piekenierskloof farm in 2001. Another was the old vineyards, 60+ year old ungrafted grenache and 40+ year old chenin. Massive boulders had to be cleared before further planting could take place, and the resulting releases have been testament to the quality potential of the site. Wines are made as naturally as possible, no pesticides or herbicides in the vineyards, spontaneous fermentation, and with a further goal going forward of lower alcohols, fresher styles. For visitors, there is a guesthouse, restored with artistic flair by Tony.