Carignan. These are relatively young vines. Especially for Testalonga. Planted in 2001, and now producing quite a solid yield with large juicy berries. Whole-bunch pressed, 8 days ferment then matured in older french oak.
Subtle nose of redcurrant and hints of tobacco (and what's to come from these grapes in future).
A bee's dick below medium body. Low tannin and juicy. Ripe raspberry and blueberry too. Some cola and tree bark. Quite savoury and versatile.
Youthful and vibrant. A pre-pubescent teen version of what should become something very handsome indeed. Like a teenage South African version of James Bond.
Testalonga - Swartland, South Africa
Testalonga was born in 2008 when husband and wife super-duo Carla and Craig Hawkins bought some vineyards and a winery at a location in Swartland called Bandits Kloof.
Out of Bandits Kloof came the El Bandito's including the legendary wine, Skin. Which, when they first macerated Chenin Blanc and released it onto the market in 2008 was THE very first modern skin-contact wine released in South Africa. The El Bandito line of wines are all single-vineyard, single varietal, world-conquering masterpieces nurtured to existence by Craig, who leads the winemaking, and draws from his experience learning the craft in Portugal and South-West France (among other places). Craig is renowned for his ability to carve out wines of great finesse and balance. And this is most typified in the El Bandito line.
Later came the Baby Banditos which make their ever sought after wines that bit more accessible, thankfully! They are easy drinking in style but carry that hallmark minimal intervention approach. Allowing the variety and terroir of Swartland really shine through.
We say this a lot... But, we are super proud to have these wines to share with you. And really mean it. We know the love that gets poured into every drop and cherish them all. Just as many the world over does. Hence why some are in very limited quantity and are only available through our store directly (so that we can share them fairly!).
If you appreciate, our want to learn to appreciate, minimal intervention winemaking of the world at its very best. And wan to understand more about the varietal and terroir expressions of South Africa. Then please do yourselves a favour and try some of these wines.