Andrew Guard

2019 Testalonga El Bandito 'Skin Contact'

100% Chenin Blanc (Dry - 10 days skin contact) From a vineyard planted in 1972  Again the aromas are very discreet with just a hint of green apple skin and faint spice. The palate is beautifully weighted and textured despite very modest alcohol. There is great complexity in the mouth and the finish goes on and on..a beauty.

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.