96 Andy Howard MW, Decanter April 2022
Shows concentrated red berry fruit and sweet and spicy notes on the palate with velvety tannins and structure for the long haul. Still ultra-youthful, it needs two or three years but will keep several decades.
95 pts Tim Atkin MW 2022
The latest in an impressive run of Pinot Noir releases from the ever youthful Emul Ross. Stylishly oaked in 29% new barrels, it’s savoury and spicy, with 12% whole bunches, sinewy tannins and a core of plum, raspberry and dark cherry fruit.
4½ Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Understated yet authoritative expression of cool climate in 21 (94 pts): fresh & poised, with spicy strawberry, red cherry & dusty, tightly wound tannins. Lovely depth & stony mineral undertone. 12% wholebunch, rest destemmed but not crushed, both wild & endemic yeast (as Chardonnay); 29% in new oak, 10 months.
Our low-vigour, stony, clay-rich soil, cool maritime mesoclimate, naturally tiny yields of well under 35 hl/ha and our philosophy of expressing our terroir in our wines – give rise to a certain tightness, tannin line and elevated length to balance the richness and generosity of our Pinot Noir. Our Pinot Noir is not overtly fruity, soft and “sweet” and it generally shows hints of that alluring savoury “primal” character along with a dark, spicy, complex primary fruit perfume.
This stellar vintage was later and cooler than usual. Based on our measure of temperature, the average of the maximum temperatures for the 4 hottest months (crucial to harvest) Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, 2021 came in at 24.3 Centigrade. This compares to 24.8 Centigrade for a long-term average of the equivalent period in Burgundy. In the last 25 years, only 2001, 2004 and 2008 have been cooler. Winter was wetter than usual with 140 mm more rain than average, filling dams and building the water table beautifully. Chill units started accumulating later than usual and a cool Spring and later budding accounted for the later harvest. A warm January was a welcome help towards healthy ripening. Any disease pressure from rain showers during ripening was effectively controlled organicallty. Yields, as always for us, were low. The Pinot noir harvest finished 10 days later than 2020, and the Chardonnay harvest finished 8 days later. Fruit quality and acidity were exceptional for both. The 2021 wines stand out for their complex, layered elegance, purity and mineral liveliness.