Andrew Guard

2017 Testalonga El Bandito 'Monkey Gone to Heaven' Mourvedre

100% Mourvedre From a vineyard planted in 2001. 100% whole-bunch fermented. Typically complex dark fruit, earth and oriental spice on the nose. The palate is juicy and substantial with a lushness and again a great vibrancy (alcohol is 12.4%! ) The tannins have a nice Mourvedre firmness about them and support the wine beautifully, this is great drinking and really shows this wonderful grape variety in the best light. 

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.