Andrew Guard

2017 Testalonga El Bandito 'Cortez' Chenin Blanc

100% Chenin Blanc (Dry, no skin maceration)  From a vineyard planted in 1972 Vinified in 50% stainless steel, 50% older 500-litre barrels. This is wonderous; I am currently quite fascinated with Chenin Blanc and am writing this from the Loire Valley, this is very shy on nose and incredibly fine pure and delicate in the mouth with super balance and length. It will expand and develop with age. Super wine

Great South African wine is quite a recent phenomenon. During the apartheid, the wine industry was completely dominated by one organization, which controlled everything from production to price, so it is only since the early 1990s that independent wine producers have emerged. 

Craig Hawkins is one of the most influential and certainly the most exciting winemakers of, not only South Africa, but the the New World. Producing wine in the Swartland in South Africa, he has helped to change the image of South African wine.

Craig's Testalonga wines often have such complexity, derived from his winemaking methods, that the authorities don’t know how to deal with it – he is denied export certification on an annual basis due to his wines lacking ‘typicity’. Well from my portfolio he joins Thierry Puzelat, Didier Barral and Francois Cotat in that regard, all brilliant winemakers who refuse to bow to convention in their quest for excellence and authenticity.