The 2012 Family Red Blend, which had just been bottled, has a warm and inviting bouquet of red plums, squashed ripe strawberries and faint touches of fennel. It is well defined and really starts to blossom with aeration. The palate is focused and more tightly wound than other vintages that I have tasted. There is a little more backbone here, more linear than I expected. Dusky red plum and cranberry, salted licorices, fennel and thyme all come together nicely, although I suspect that it will benefit from a couple of years in bottle. Another success for Adi Badenhorst, albeit in a more restrained style. (NM)
(13.5% alcohol; mostly Shiraz, co-fermented with Cinsault, Grenache and Tinta Barroca; from the best granite vineyards in Paardeberg; Badenhorst doesn't press until July or August): Bright red-ruby. Deep aromas of cherry, redcurrant, smoked meat and leather, lifted by a pungent cranberry note. Rich and fine-grained, with harmonious acidity and powerful minerality giving a light touch and terrific precision to the middle palate. In a very savory style and quite reserved today. Finishes hugely tannic, broad, classically dry and long, with enticing red fruit notes and terrific mineral lift. A very subtle, complex blend in a restrained style. (ST)
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