Introducing Smiley Spesiale!

The Spesiale is 2 barrels of 100% 20-day skin contact Chenin blanc from younger (17 year old) Paardeberg vineyards. No sulphur added at all, no fining or filtering and certainly no yeast! The wine was left in old French oak barrel for 15 months before bottling, only topped up and nothing added during elevage. Pretty straight forward stuff to be honest.

The “Spesiale” will be a label that will highlight the Smiley components individually or allow us to be even more experimental with small batch releases. Only 650 bottles made

Tasting notes: mandarin, clove, aniseed, ginger, cedar wood, Szechuan peppercorns and jasmine on the nose – plenty of spice and citrus intertwined. On the palate the wine has fine tannins from the skin contact, with a long dry finish. For food pairings we recommend Asian orientated cuisine such as Indian or Thai curry dishes as the wine complements the spice, heat and fragrant flavours. Drink now – this is a no sulphur wine not intended for long ageing. 12.5% ABV

Tim James on the Spesiale: “And quite remarkable, characterful stuff it proved to be when I tasted it amongst the line-up of skin-contact wines assembled by Angela Lloyd earlier this year (reported on here). My note on the aromas simply says “extraordinary!”. A very forceful wine, with little fruitiness, and nothing like mere charm; clean, bone dry, with a firm grip from tannin and acidity; the nuttiness and austerity reminded me of an amontillado sherry” – read the full article here:

The wine is only available directly from the cellar via Samantha – or at Publik Wine Bar in Cape Town.

The wine will be available in limited quantities in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Japan and China.


Vinous – Neal Martin Scores Released

For the full, comprehensive report of South Africa’s wines check the website

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