Ahrens Family Bendewijn Tulbagh 2016
Albert drives up to 40,000km every year between a plethora of vineyards in the Cape, sourcing only the very best grapes for his growing range of tiny-batch wines. He was the winemaker at Lammershoek at the dawn of the Swartland Revolution; since then Albert has remained under the radar building his own projects, while also gaining experience abroad in Priorat, the Rhône valley and Champagne.
This is a dry, peppery, earthy, and eminently smooth blend of Syrah and Carignan from the lesser-known Tulbagh region. Dominated by big farms and co-operatives, there are brilliant sources of fruit in Tulbagh if, like Albert, you know where to look. The region won't stay under the radar for long. These grapes come from vines aged between 12 and 18 years, and it's naturally fermented in open topped tanks, maturing for a year in small French oak barrels. Dark pepper spice has red fruit from the Carignan zipping in and out, and it is so, so smooth. It also looks utterly stunning!
Just 1,055 bottles made, and a mere 66 found their way to the UK.