Vinous – Neal Martin Scores Released

For the full, comprehensive report of South Africa’s wines check the website https://vinous.com

2016 Terracura Wines Silwervis Cinsault 93 The 2016 Silwervis Cinsault was matured in concrete egg and stainless steel for 12 months. It has a very pure, generous bouquet of red cherries, crushed raspberry, hints of peony and a light cola scent. The palate is medium-bodied with quite grippy tannin but plenty of freshness, and a succinct, very focused yet powerful finish that pitches this grape variety exactly right, between elegance and intensity. Superb.

— Neal Martin

2016 Terracura Wines Syrah 92 The 2016 Syrah was matured in used French oak for 12 months. It has a well-defined bouquet of black cherries, raspberry coulis, brine and light iodine aromas that blossom in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannin, perfectly pitched acidity, gentle grip and pure black and blue fruit, laced with fennel, bay leaf and a light animally note toward the finish that might dupe you into thinking this was from a choice spot in the Northern Rhône! An outstanding, soulful wine from Ryan Mostert.

— Neal Martin

2016 Terracura Wines Chenin Blanc Silwervis 92 The 2016 Silwervis Chenin Blanc (which, incidentally, has a fantastic devil and mermaid themed label, though I suspect the US authorities would ask the topless mermaid to put on a couple of seashells) is pure Chenin Blanc matured in a concrete egg and one old oak barrel. Its wax resin, dried peach skin and sea cave bouquet brings you to the sea in the same way as a Galician Albariño or a fine Muscadet. The palate is fresh and taut on the entry and has a gorgeous waxy texture and notes of orange pith, dried apricot and mango, but this Chenin is more about the texture and that tang of ginger on the finish. Excellent.

— Neal Martin

NV Terracura Wines Smiley Red V3 91+ The NV Smiley Red V3 is a blend of Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Tinta Barocca and Syrah across the 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintages, matured in used oak. It has a clean, well-defined bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, pressed rose petals and a light marine influence (perhaps just a hint of Japanese nori). The palate is very well balanced, featuring succulent ripe red berry fruit laced with brown spices, sage and a hint of espresso and bay leaf. It feels quite backward at the moment and I would be inclined to give it 12 to 18 months in bottle. Excellent.

— Neal Martin

NV Terracura Wines Chenin Blanc Smiley V4 91 The NV Smiley Chenin Blanc V4 is a blend of vintages between 2015 and 2018, including flor-aged wine, using only old oak. It has an attractive bouquet, featuring scents of dried honey, peach skin and orange pith and a touch of lemon thyme that emerges with aeration; the flor influence is very subtle. The palate is well balanced with fine acidity, a lovely waxy texture and notes of ginger and citrus peel toward the finish. This is a fascinating wine, but most importantly, a delicious wine that will put a smile on your face.  — Neal Martin

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