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Thorne & Daughters ‘Tin Soldier’ Semillon Gris 2021


WO Swartland
John Seccombe: Tin Soldier is a skin-fermented wine made from Semillon gris, which is almost unique to South Africa, and a vestige of a time when Semillon was the grape on which the South African wine industry was built. The vineyard has been established from a sélection massale of Semillon gris cuttings taken from an adjacent vineyard of Semillon that was planted in 1964.
The colour of the wine is unusual, having taken some bright copper tones from about a week’s fermentation on skins. We continually aim to improve on our winemaking, and patience at picking time has allowed us to pick wines just that little bit riper and more complex without losing the elegance that this vineyard produces.
The interplay between savoury and sweet is a key point of interest in Tin Soldier, and makes for a subtle and engaging wine. The wine shows aromas of crushed rooibos leaves, warm toast and ruby grapefruit. The palate is rich, textured and long with spiced apple and loose leaf tea.
Christian Eedes: From Swartland Semillon Gris, 50% fermented on the skins for one week. Complex aromatics of potpourri, citrus, peach, some nuttiness and spice. The palate shows great fruit depth matched by tangy acidity, the finish gently savoury. A wine full of captivating detail. 95/100.

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John has drawn on the great history of wine growing here in the Cape, putting together old vineyard parcels with new grape cultivars, and making wines with old-school simplicity and a modern ‘edge’. His approach to wine making is simple, honest and gentle, and he is looking to make wines that tell a story, not wines that shout and bang a drum. The “Wanderer’s Heart” Cape Red Blend was added to the range from the 2016 vintage.









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