Penhill was originally built 300 years ago on the route to Stellenbosch, Swellendam and Graaff Reinet. A well known place to rest while enjoying good food and great wines. Now Penhill is a quality badge for established and exclusive wines of South Africa. To find out more about the Penhill wine range contact Frikkie on frikkie@penhill.co.za

SYRAH CINSAULT

Pearl Red 2019

Medium depth and with a shiny ruby-red glow this has a familiar warm Paarl fruit comfort. Nicely poised, certainly not overworked or in any way a fruit ‘bomb’, this is a stylish and very smooth wine, showing some restraint and balance, and registers a considered 14% alcohol, quite an achievement for its location. Mixed small black and red berry fruited, with careful, quite discreet use of wood and enough Cinsault to control its regional intensity and ripeness, the wine retains a sweet gentle perfume and mellow mouthfeel, sitting as it does between two styles. Less a peppery, briary or spicy version, the Pearl Red offers silky, plump fruit, clean, fresh and lingering plum flavours and from start to finish a caressing, seamless opulence. Already approachable, the wine offers pristine fruit in its younger years and may be best enjoyed within five years.

SYRAH CINSAULT

Pearl Red 2018

A wine that balances old world structure and refinement with new world fruit ripeness, this carries a familiar Penhill silky mouthfeel and succulence. More red berry based than the 2019, the Cinsault makes its mark, there is an initial crisp cranberry, raspberry and wild cherry note, with a racy edge and penetration, brisk acidity keeps the wine poised and defined. This is followed by a more expansive, fleshy liquorice and tar note, with spicy blueberry, plums and blackcurrants, full and deliciously stylish. There is a solid fruit core here, but handled with elegance and restraint, the wine is perfumed, heady, but oak and its 14.5% alcohol are unobtrusive, pristine fruit leads the way and the finish is lively and charming. This is a wine which successfully walks the tightrope of fruit generosity, assertion and power with a grace, a light touch and vitality. The seamless balance of acidity, alcohol and fruit density should see a long life for this wine.

SYRAH CARIGNAN

DJ Red 2019

Ruby-black sheen with a sweet mulberry and wild strawberry nose, the palate is smooth and pliant and the feel is full and lush. A real ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’, there is some warmth in its finish and an enjoyable pastille note to its black fruit core. Its Swartland fruit is ripe and intense yet the wine has structure and elegance and support from fine grained tannins keeps it from being jammy. The fruit shows a purity, this is not a spicy or peppery Syrah led blend, but one of clean plum, blue and blackcurrant flavours and just a touch of briar, developing a violet perfume when left a while. This is a fruity, expressive cordial-like wine, immediately attractive and accessible in youth, stylish, modern and finely crafted.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON - CINSAULT

Thirty 2018

Fine, supple and very stylish, this young Cabernet driven wine shows dark cherry, cranberry, plum and winter berry compote. Juicy, charmingly fruity and always elegant, the tannins are unobtrusive, like the fine oak structure, lacy and with a fresh light acidity which keeps the wine lively, bright and balanced and prevents the pastille-like smoothness from ever being cloyey. This is an accessible wine in youth, ripe fruit driven and moderately intense, especially at its dark fruit core, memorable for its beautifully smooth silky mouthfeel, quality ripe fruit and sumptuous harmony. The graceful balance of elements and deft handling will ensure evolving distinction. Delightful with white meat, light meals or on its own and drinking well now, but good for several more years.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON - CABERNET FRANC - CINSAULT

Thirty 2019

Glossy health radiates from this quite robust wine, darker and more muscular than the 2018, with hints of earth and char. As with the 2018, there is ripe fruit quality, crushed blackberries, blueberries, cherry, red plums, and a lighter, red fruit note keeping the wine fresh and nimble. There is also a suggestion of depth and of more to come in time as the wine opens over the next few years. The addition of Cabernet Franc into the blend has added to its lightly floral aroma and reticence, and also to its layers of interest and not so subtle power. Surprisingly, the alcohol sits at 13.5% yet the wine is hearty and generous, always with that silky mouthfeel and polished palate. A serious wine with integrated oak, exotic fruits and considerable opulence, more New World and less restrained than the 2018, and altogether pliant, compelling and delicious, even better on the second day where more nuances reveal themselves. Will age nicely for five to ten years

Shiraz

Shiraz 2020

Medium depth and with a dark fruited, char hint and touch jammy nose, this is a friendly, easy drinking wine for earlier consumption. Full of winter bramble fruit with roast meat, spice and mocha tones, the wine is firm and full and though initially tight and a little baked, it opens to a softer, viscous feel, quite hearty all round. A fruit driven wine, very ripe and effective if simple. This is a wine for everyday drinking and probably best within five years, it might benefit from decanting before drinking.

Chenin Blanc

Pearl White 2018

Classic Chenin notes of damp straw, orange peel and dried apple are abundant here. There is a tangy freshness, lots of forward and lush stewed yellow summer fruits with some lees, oats and roasted sweetcorn mealiness and a feint suggestion of wood sinew. Medium bodied plus, this is more edgy, more focussed with more supportive acidity and seems more linear than the 2019, yet with that same mid-palate soft richness and layering of flavours. This is a wine with some complexity and length and has a zesty punch of lemon-lime and ripe quince followed by the soft comfort of baked apple pie filling the palate, there is a generous lanolin cream note running throughout. It really is compelling and effulgent. The balance and harmony are delightful now, but the acid lift behind the lush fruit will see this wine evolve splendidly for at least five years, ten with good storage, and it will become even more alluring.

Chenin Blanc

Pearl White 2019

Pale straw hue and a rather shy nose reveal a medium bodied wine, packed with vibrant fruit notes. There is tangy orange peel, yellow summer fruits, ripe apple and a creamy new-wood feel background. The wine has a brightness, a freshness and is finely crafted, certainly not overworked, and elements are seamless and delicately balanced. There is a complexity here, a myriad of flavours one following another, with sufficient acidity and a hint of wet pebbles to support the Paarl warm climate fruit, all nicely integrated so that although not overly long it certainly has a cerebral effect. This wine successfully walks the balance of seductive and alluring ripe fruit, lees and wood texture with a vitality and zest that gives it character and makes it irresistible. Good for many more years.

Marzanne - Roussanne - Grenache Blanc

Triple-M 2019

Pale straw tint with a gently floral honeysuckle and yellow fruited nose. The palate is mid weight and assertive, complex and lingering flavours of marzipan, stonefruits, wet pebbles and savoury herbs. Coating them all are delicious buttery dried honey and subtle toast notes, textured and full of character. There is a seamless harmony to the three varieties, none is dominant and the effect is of an alluring, complex wine with maturity already, the zippy backbone of acidity will mean a long life and flavours will mingle and develop even more and the score will improve. Agile and fresh this is a serious premium wine with cleverly crafted and compelling flavours.

Chenin Blanc

Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2019

Sweetly perfumed with warm buttery tropical fruits on the nose, a weight and richness which follows on to a palate of tangerine, nectarine, mango and summer fruits from a warm climate. Supple and stylish, there is a floral note, some mineral dryness and a burst of butterscotch and caramel, neatly integrated vanilla oak and some lees-like creaminess. An acid lift cuts through the layered depths of soft fruits and keeps the long finish refreshingly crisp and the wine shapely and focussed and leaves the impression of zesty, almost grapefruit and lemon liveliness. This is a bright and intense wine, full of flavour and interest, round, candied and soft yet staying nimble and just tingly enough for several more years.

Chenin Blanc

DJ Chenin Blanc 2019

Glossy straw depth with a heady bread, wax and dried honey nose, this is a serious and top quality Chenin. There is a weight and depth to the palate which lingers remarkably and offers oak vanilla tannins, lees density and warm tropical fruit notes. There are classic Swartland flavours and richness here, peach, almonds, honeycomb, all full frontal and unctuous, a sweet palate, opulence and intensity, almost too soft and requiring all of its acid spine, suggesting brilliance more in youth though it should improve in the short term. This is a wine reflecting careful winemaking decisions and often non-intervention, reflected in its heartwarming tartrate crystals sitting in the bottle. It is lacking nothing, a wine maybe not for the fainthearted, but nevertheless it is layered, persistent and deeply enjoyable.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Richly perfumed and with heady fragrances of soft green and exotic fruits, this is a full fruited, juicy, yet agile wine. Feeling medium bodied, quite lush indeed despite its lowish 12.5% alcohol, the wine shows hints of herbs, lemon sherbet, talcum powder and gooseberry initially, giving way to warmer climate tangy peach, stonefruit and melon notes on the finish. Flavours are underpinned by a subtle minerality and its gentle acidity is just enough to keep the wine lively and the finish is light and friendly. This is a forward, sweetly fruited wine with a slight tinned-fruit feel, broadly generous, lacking some varietal appeal, perhaps, but enjoyable and perfect from the fridge on a summer’s day.

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