Andrew Guard

Testalonga El Bandito 'I am the Ninja' 2022

This is our latest addition to the portfolio. We love Methode Ancestral wines
and the texture they bring. We wanted this wine to be drier than the “I wish I was a Ninja” as we feel Chenin has more depth when it is drier. The photo was taken by our friend Martin Shambrock in London of his neighbour’s dog “Layla”. We love the photo and think it suits this wine perfectly, it serious but playful at the same time. This is a beautiful fresh, crisp and delicious fizzy wine for the warm weather !

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.