Paper Kite is a relative new wine in the Thorne and Daughters stable. Our searches through the Cape Winelands bore fruit in the 2015 vintage when we were lucky enough to buy some fruit from one of the oldest producing vineyards in South Africa and the oldest producing Semillon blanc vineyard.
True to Semillon’s ability to produce very long-lived wines, the wine is very much in an embryonic phase of its life. It shows some spice, floral and savoury tones, with flavours of green melon and sweet herbs. Its incredible length is testament to the great age of the vineyard.
Nuts and bolts
Semillon blanc and gris – Swartland 53 year old vineyard on alluvial soil
Alcohol – 12.6%; Residual sugar – 1.9 g/L; Total acidity – 5.5 g/L; pH 3.44
About the wine
Semillon, especially from old clone vineyards, has come to epitomise what we are seeking in our wines. It provides us with wines of texture and depth, with none of the facile primary characteristics that we see in so many modern clones. As with all of our wines, the winemaking is incredibly simple, as we have no desire to stand between the vineyard and its expression as a wine in the glass.
Thorne & Daughters Paper Kite Old Vine Semillon 2017 Swartland, South Africa
This is Semillon Blanc and a little bit of Semillon Gris (pink-skinned) from a Paardeberg vineyard planted in 1963. It’s the farm owned by Franziska Wickens called Kweperfontein. It has real delicacy with fresh, fine lemony fruit and amazing texture. Unfiltered this year, it’s a lovely wine of great precision and delicacy. 95/100 Jamie Goode
The 2017 Paper Kite comes from a block of Sémillon planted in 1964, whole-bunch-pressed and matured in used oak. It has a generous bouquet of yellow plum, peach skin and dried honey aromas, backed by touches of peony. The palate shows superb balance and perhaps more tension and energy than John Seccombe’s other 2017s. Impressive in length and quite complex through to the lightly spiced, curry leaf finish, this is an outstanding Sémillon.’ – Neal Martin Report 2018, 94/100
‘From old-vine Swartland Semillon. A subtle and elusive nose of white peach, naartjie and dried herbs. The palate shows good fruit concentration and bright acidity before a long and savoury finish, a touch of tannic grip adding interest. Nicely observed on the part of Seccombe and again an absolute pleasure to drink. Alcohol: 12.5%.’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 94/100
Stefan Wierda (sommelier Merlet*) in Winelife: *** (must have). Perfecte wijn. Rustgevend. Zo compleet met en zeer goede balans. Een feest. Met warme schaal- en schelpdieren erbij wordt het helemaal genieten. De zilte, zoete smaak van krab of kreeft zet deze wijn vol in de schijnwerpers.
[quote]’Paper Kite is down from two sources to one in 2017, but the quality of the wine is every bit as impressive. Balanced, saline and fresh, with subtle skin tannins, notes of beeswax, toast and citrus and a bright herbal finish. Delicious Semillon. 2018-25.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2018, 95/100 [/quote]