The Mount Abora Chenin Blanc 2011 was among my “Top 12 Wines of the Year” in 2012 – idiosyncratic but wonderfully so. This Swartland label with vinfication by Johan Meyer and brand custodianship by marverick wine marketer Krige Visser has now “conglomerated” with the garagiste Hermit on the Hill label of Pieter de Waal and a tasting of new releases was held recently:
Mount Abora Koggelbos Chenin Blanc 2012
Spontaneous fermentation, approximately 25% whole bunch. Matured for 12 months in old 500-litre barrels and then a further seven months in tank. An intellectually demanding wine – even less “by the book” than 2011 by the winemaker’s own admission. A complex nose showing peach, honey and some floral character. Super-intense with bright acidity. Distinct oxidative notes plus a slightly phenolic finish make it less readily likeable than the 2011 but it’s a wine which deserves contemplation.
Mount Abora Saffraan Cinsaut 2013
100% whole bunch fermentation. Matured for 11 months in old barrels. Red fruit, floral fragrance plus white pepper. Pure and fresh. Lovely fruit expression, extraction nicely judged, great fun to drink.
Mount Abora The Abyssinian 2012
47% Mourvèdre, 32% Cinsaut, 21% Shiraz. 100% whole bunch fermentation. Matured for 12 months in old oak barrels before a further seven months in tank. Red and black fruit, a slightly wild note, earth and fynbos. Appealing but a bit short on flesh and detail.