PRESS AND REVIEWS

 

PRESS AND REVIEWS

Here's a roundup of our recent reviews and news from around the world.

TIM ATKIN MW

SOUTH AFRICA REPORT

96 POINTS  ONE OF THE WINES OF THE YEAR

Radford Dale The Renaissance of  Chenin Blanc 2017

 

95 POINTS  ONE OF THE WINES OF THE YEAR

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2019

 

94 POINTS

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2018 & 2017 

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2018

 

93 POINTS

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2017 

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2019 & 2017 

Radford Dale The Revelation Chenin Blanc 2019 & 2018

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2018

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2019

 

92 POINTS

Radford Dale Vinum  Chenin Blanc 2019 

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2016

 

91 POINTS

Radford Dale Syrah 2015

Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2019

Radford Dale Grenache 2019

 

90 POINTS

Radford Dale Black Rock 2017 

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2017

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2019 & 2018

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2019

Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2018

JANCISROBINSON.COM

JULIA HARDING MW

 

17 POINTS

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2019

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2017

Radford Dale Syrah 2017

 

16.5 POINTS

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2019

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2019

Radford Dale The Revelation 2019

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2017

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2017 

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay 2019

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2019, 2018 & 2017

Radford Dale Thirst Clairette Blanche 2019

Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2019 & 2018

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2016

 

16 POINTS

Radford Dale Thirst Cinsault 2020

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2018

 

15.5 POINTS

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2019

PLATTER SOUTH AFRICAN WINE GUIDE

 

RED WINE OF THE YEAR 2017

Radford Dale Black Rock 2014

 

5 STARS

Radford Dale Black Rock 2015

Radford Dale Black Rock 2014 

Radford Dale Black Rock 2013

 

4.5 STARS

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2019 & 2018 

Radford Dale Revelation Chenin Blanc 2019 

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2019 &2018

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2019 & 2018

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2017 & 2016

Radford Dale Nudity Syrah 2017 & No.16

Radford Dale Syrah 2017 & 2015

Radford Dale Gravity 2013 & 2011

 

4 STARS

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2018

Radford Dale Cinsault 2019

Radford Dale Grenache 2019

Radford Dale Nudity 2018

Radford Dale Thirst Clairette Blanche 2020 

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2019

Radford Dale The Revelation Chenin Blanc 2018 

Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2019

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2019 & 2018

DECANTER

Syrah: The Most Exciting  Grape in the Cape

 

95+ Points

Radford Dale Nudity 2013

 

94 Points

Radford Dale The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2017 

Vinum Chenin Blanc 2015 

Radford Dale Syrah 2012 

 

93 Points

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2018

Radford Dale The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2015

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2014

 

91 Points

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2014

 

90 Points

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2015 

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2017

JAMIE GOODE - WINE ANORAK

South African Gamay almost became extinct, but there’s hope: two from Radford Dale


93 Points
Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2019
Radford Dale The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2015

91 Points
Radford Dale Thirst Cinsault 2015

90 Points
Radford Dale Thirst Gamay Noir 2020
Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2015

CHRISTIAN EEDES - WINEMAG 

96 Points 

Radford Dale The Revelation Chenin Blanc 2018

95 Points

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2016

94 Pints

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2018

Radford Dale Syrah 2017

93 Points

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2018

92 Points

Radford Dale Nudity Syrah 2018

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2018

Radford Dale Black Rock 2017

90 Points 

Radford Dale Gravity 2013

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2019

89 Points

Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2019

Click here to download our full Press Summary Pages or visit our Gallery

 

South African Gamay almost became extinct, but there’s hope: two from Radford Dale
By Jamie Goode - Wine Anorak, 10th March 2021

Gamay is rare in South Africa. In 2015 there were just 12 hectares planted in the country, down from 29 a decade earlier. As of the end of 2019, this had fallen further to just 7.92 hectares, almost all of which is in Stellenbosch. But Radford Dale have emerged as champions of this variety, and here I tasted two of their Gamays.

Tom Prior of Radford Dale added some context. ‘As you know, the project kicked off with the Thirst 2015 bottling,’ he says. ‘In effect, it’s a process of salvaging what remained of South Africa’s Gamay vineyards. We added the Antidote bottling to the mix with the 2017 release.’

‘Our focus is on light, fresh red varietals, or varietals which can take that route (such as Pinotage), and we’re enthusiastic importers of progressive Beaujolais [Radford Dale also have an import business]. On another topic, we now produce a Stellenbosch Grenache. It is still a rarity in this area, and whilst it’s an incredibly young site, this wine looks like the pick of our 2020s.’

Radford Dale are now planting Gamay. ‘We were able to rehabilitate an existing site to a level where we could take good quality material and plant,’ says Tom. They planted 0.5 hectares in 2017 and another 0.4 ha in 2019. These vines have been planted in the Karibib farm at the Polkadraai Hills. ‘This grower already supplies fruit for some top SA Chardonnay (Craven), Chenin (us, Alheit) and Syrah (Van Loggerenberg, Reenen Borman),’ he explains.

‘The young Gamay site sits in an elevated position within this ampitheatre of vines, facing SE towards False Bay in the distance,’ says Tom. Their first vintage will be this year. ‘The Karibib site is the first such planting of Gamay in 20 years, and it should serve as an awesome mother block for the future.’

‘Towards the end of 2021 we’ll have a third Gamay bottling in the line-up, which will bridge price and style between the Thirst and Antidote expressions. In due course, we hope to spearhead a Cape category and supply keen peers with material.’

Gamay hasn’t featured much in the varietal mix of South Africa’s winelands. ‘There’s little to go on when it comes to the why of Gamay in the Cape,’ he says. ‘Recently, I uncovered a book after a lead from Joanne Gibson, called Wines of the Cape by C de Bosdari. Writing in the 1950s on Gamay, Bosdari noted Gamay as “sturdy and prolific” and that “planted in the right soil will produce a superior wine at the Cape.” (In the context of his writings, he seems to be implying a superior wine to Pinot.)’

‘This obviously pre-dates Pinot finding a suitable home in the Hemel-en-Aarde, but may offer some clues as to why it appeared in Stellenbosch. As with Cinsault, it would have served as a useful component in creating the ligher-bodied Cabernet blends of the era. At the time, Muratie was bottling a Pinot-Gamay blend, while Chateau Alphen was a blend of Pinot, Gamay and Cab. The Alphen Red, with Cab as its main component, was apparently lighter-bodied.’

The wines

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2020 Stellenbosch, South Africa
12% alcohol. Naturally made, unfined and unfiltered. This is light, fresh and supple with juicy cherry fruit, a touch of beetroot and pomegranate, and some strawberry sweetness. This is light and juicy with some fine herby notes, and it’s quite ethereal in its naked purity. Has a touch of sour cherry on the finish. 90/100

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2019 Stellenbosch, South Africa
12.5% alcohol. Supple and elegant with fine red cherry and berry fruits, showing some silkiness and also bright acidity. There’s a lot of freshness, but also some richer berry fruit character and lovely elegance and refinement. Polished, in the best sense of the term, but retaining vitality. A lovely expression of Gamay. 93/100

Radford Dale Terroir Range Press Pages
 
Chardonnay.jpg
Renaissance.jpg
Antidote.jpg
Freedom.jpg
Black Rock.jpg
Frankenstein.jpg
Nudity.jpg
Syrah.jpg
Gravity.jpg
March 2019
Tim Atkin Lismore Tasting Results - 23 March 2019
 
Alex, took part in the fifth Lismore tasting held in Greyton by Tim Atkin and Lismore Wine Estate. Designed to pit the best wines of South Africa against their peers from the rest of the world this time it was Chardonnay. 35 wines were tasted in total, 13 of which were from outside the Cape. 

Our Radford Dale Chardonnay 2017 came in 1st of the South African wines and 4th overall, in the group tasting! Interestingly, 4 of the 5 top SA Chardonnays were from Stellenbosch.

GROUP TASTING TOP 10

1. 2017 Errázuriz Las Pizarras, Aconcagua Costa (Chile)

2. 2017 Black Book Clayhill Vineyard, Essex (England)

3. 2014 Domaine Marc Morey Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Referts (Burgundy)

4. 2017 Radford Dale Chardonnay, Stellenbosch (South Africa)

5. 2017 Kershaw Clonal Selection, Elgin (South Africa)

6. 2017 Circumstance, Stellenbosch (South Africa)

7. 2016 Leeu Passant, Stellenbosch (South Africa)

8. 2015 Domaine Hubert Lamy St Aubin Premier Cru Les Frionnes (France)

9. 2017 Meerlust, Stellenbosch (South Africa)

10. 2015 Leeuwin Art Series, Margaret River (Australia)

For more information, please visit:

https://bit.ly/2HREtqS - Tim Atkin Lismore Tasting Article
https://bit.ly/2CBKEMi - WineMag Article 

 

Platter's 2021 South African Wine Guide

Yet another great year - 12 of the Best, again!

For a another year, 12 of our Radford Dale wines were awarded 4.5 stars and a record 16 wines received 4 stars in the 41st edition of the guide and we are absolutely delighted with the results!
In the Platter South African Wine Guide, wines are star-rated with 100-point equivalent based on sited and blind tastings. Over 8000 wines are tasted from more than 900 wineries. 

Please click here to see the full list of the wines and vintages and Platter notes. 

Platter's 2020 South African Wine Guide

Another great year - 12 of the Best

12 of our Radford Dale wines were awarded 4.5 stars and 8 received 4 stars in the latest guide, we are thrilled with the results!
This 40th edition's independent ratings and reviews are the result of a best-of-both worlds system of sighted and blind tastings. 

Please click here to see the full list of the wines and vintages and Platter notes. 

Platter's 2019 South African Wine Guide

12 of the Best - Consistently Outstanding 

We are thrilled to announce our Platter 2019 results. 

An unprecedented 12 RADFORD DALE wines were awarded 4.5 stars in the latest guide, released last week. 

This, the 39th edition, features over 8,000 wines from 900 producers. The guide's independent ratings and reviews are the result of a best-of-both worlds system of sighted and blind tastings. Please see below for the full list of the wines and vintages with fully transcribed Platter notes. 

In addition to the 4.5 star scores above, 8 of our Radford Dale wines have been awarded 4 stars while our Radford Dale Black Rock retains its 5 star rating, which demonstrates our consistently superb ratings in the Platter guide. 

This all follows the recent high scores received from Tim Atkin for which we are delighted to have obtained especially as we celebrate 20 years of Radford Dale. 
We are very proud of our range and to receive  such acknowledgement of all the hard work the team puts in year after year is extremely rewarding.

November 2018

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2017

Winemaker as chaperone rather than surgeon allows natural processes to yield balanced 2017. Fresh peachy fruit in firm but pliable support with remarkably low alcohol (11.5%). There's added allure of vanilla-spiced creaminess from 10 months in French oak. 15% new.  

94 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2017

From dryland Helderberg bush vines, partial bunch-pressing, wild yeast ferment in older oak, bone-dry, modest 12.5% alcohol. Sensual 2017 has honeysuckle aromas & a velvety structure supporting fresh citrus and waxy lanolin. Exceptional refreshment.  

91 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Syrah 2015

Singular Stellenbosch rendition, more muscular, less fragrant than Nudity. 2015's scrub, fynbos and earthy profile heralds savoury intensity with beautiful balance in a long tail. POrtion bunch fermented, some post-ferment maceration. 20% new oak, 18 months. 

93 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Black Rock 2015

Maintains fine form. Gorgeous fynbos perfume, brambly berries & spice from 40% Syrah, 25% Cinsualt, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre, co-fermented/aged in oak, 16 months, 20% new. Naturally fermented Swartland fruit, like 2014, Platter 2017 Red Wine of The Year. 

95 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Nudity Syrah No 16

"Natural Wine" (no additives, not even sulphur), from organic Voor-Paardeberg site. Intensely aromatic 2016, vibrant pepper tones, wild berries, hints of fynbos and smoked meat, a chalky minerality. Like 2015, great complexity considering older oak imparts no spice. 

93 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Frankenstein Pinotage 2016

Handled like a Pinot Noir, 50% bunch ferment, 10 months older oak), vibrant 2016 packed with bright, juicy red berry fruit; at 12.75% alcohol, no monster, actually rather poised and elegant; perfumed and fresh. 

93 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale AD Pinot Noir 2017

Curated under the hand of co-founder Alex Dale, the most fragrant, perhaps most delicate of the house's Pinots. Elgin fruit de-stemmed & whole berry fermented. 2017 is no lightweight given its black cherry intensity and serious structure, with grippy tannins. Bone-dry, naturally low, 10.5% alcohol.

94 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2017

Best of the top 3 Elgins, all 10 months in oak, this 10% new, the rest only old barrels. Poised 2017's floral/violet bouquet leads to tangy black fruit, fresh acidity & fine grained tannins, some smoked meat nuances, too. All the components harmonious.  

93 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Gravity 2010

Forceful, forward 2010 from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offering spice, & bright red & black berries on a firmly structured base. Successfully balances the claims of fresh fruitiness & savoury depths to give some early complexity supported by good oaking. Will benefit from cellaring. 

92 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Edouard Labeye Pinot Noir 2017

Like Freedom sibling, de-stemmed Elgin grapes are not crushed to allow a semi-carbonic maceration. Reflecting the persona of the cellarmaster, 2017 is brawniest of the Pinots with earthy wild strawberry and morello cherry fruit, enticing fynbos perfume and savoury truffle hints. 

93 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Pearce Predhomme Chenin Blanc 2017

Made from 5 parcels in collaboration with "like-minded" Canadian sommeliers , elegant old vine, wild ferment 2017 more vinous than fruit but balanced. Peachy 2016 offered tangerine and melon fruit cut by very bright acidity. Touch of new oak, trademark moderate alcohol. 

91 /100

November 2018

Radford Dale Pearce Predhomme Cinsault Syrah 2017

Cinsault Syrah duo for export customer. Pot-Pourri on nose of "whole-cluster, wild-ferment" 2017. Fabulously expressive of red berry fruit from 65/35 blend. Lighter 2016 Syrah Cinsault (55/45 blend) had tangy sweet against on backdrop. Lovely 12.5% alcohol. 

91 /100

November 2018
 

What did Tim Atkin MW say about Radford Dale?

"I am extremely impressed with the quality of what I tasted in 2020, especially from 2019 vintage...Against formidable odds, South Africa is making some of the greatest wines in its history"

Tim Atkin.

95 POINTS

Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2019

Alex Dale refers to Chenin Blanc as "South Africa's noblest grape" and it's hard to disagree
when you taste a wine like this. Elegant and subtly wooded, this is all about balance and
freshness, with fennel and lemongrass aromas, lemon and green apple flavours and the
concentration and extract to age.

93 POINTS

Radford Dale The Revelation Chenin Blanc 2019

Low in alcohol and deliberately made in a style that reflects its cooler Walker Bay source, this
is a fresh, sappy, very lightly wooded Chenin Blanc with commendable precision, brightness
and lift. Aniseed, citrus and wet stone flavours marry well on the palate.

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2019

Burgundy nut Alex Dale has shifted the style of his Stellenbosch Chardonnay in recent years
from Meursault to Chablis, as it were. Low in alcohol, with pear, lemon and subtle cinnamon
spice, this is long, refreshing and a pleasure to drink. The opposite of a one-glass wine.

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2019

Reflecting Alex Dale's love of red Burgundy, this is a light, elegant, focused Elgin Pinot that
wouldn't look out of place in Chorey-lès-Beaune. Graceful and refreshing, with redcurrant
and watermelon flavours and fine-grained tannins supported by older oak.

92 POINTS

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2019

Offering superb value for money at just R160, this is like a scaled-down rendition of Alex
Dale's top wines. Taut and refreshing with wild yeast aromas and texture, a hint of oak spice
and a core of crisp, tangy citrus and green apple fruit.

91 POINTS

Radford Dale Vinum Pinotage 2019

The aim here is to reveal "the hidden side of Pinotage", using natural fermentation and
carbonic maceration. It's certainly a wonderfully drinkable red: supple and juicy with
impressive colour and concentration and raspberry and black cherry fruit.

Radford Dale Grenache 2019

Sourced from Alex Dale's home vineyards, close to the Helderberg and cooled by the breezes
from False Bay, this is a Grenache for Pinot Noir lovers, with some whole berry carbonic
maceration. Medium weight, lightly wooded and spicy, with notes of thyme and fennel, tangy
acidity and raspberry and bramble fruit flavours.

90 POINTS

Land of Hope Reserve Pinot Noir 2019

Part of an educational project of "social upliftment", this tasty Pinot Noir is serious stuff.
Made with clones 115 and 777, it's a focused, well-structured red with wild strawberry and
tomato skin flavours and a spicy, slightly volatile lift.

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir 2019

Made in the style of a Beaujolais Cru rather than a Beaujolais Nouveau, this is a pretty
serious Gamay from Alex Dale and his team. Savoury, grippy and showing some reduction,
with bramble and raspberry fruit and a dusting of oak spice.

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay Noir 2019

One of those wines that I often order by the glass in South African restaurants, this is a
classic combination of Gamay on granite soils. Zesty, crunchy and refreshing, it has thirst quenching acidity, pale colour and bright cherry and raspberry flavours.

Tim Atkin released his South Africa Report 2018 at Cape Wine last week and we are delighted to announce the reviews he gave our wines. 
 

  • Each Radford Dale wine he tasted, he scored between 96 – 90 points

which means all our wines have been bestowed an Award of Excellence.

  • The 3 Regions in which we specialise: Stellenbosch, Elgin & The Swartland, 

each featured among these endorsements, reflecting our consistent quality across the various

terroirs and Appellations.

  • 5 single varietal wines and one blend featured, also reflecting our consistent quality

across different styles and varieties.

  • Renaissance Chenin Blanc, with 96 Points, was named as one of his WINES OF THE YEAR.

96 points

Radford Dale The Renaissance of Chenin Blanc 2017

Stellenbosch, 12.5%

The Renaissance hails from a single vineyard on the Helderberg that also supplies the core of the Vinum Chenin. Made with a Burgundian sensibility by Jacques de Klerk, it’s layered and complex, with refined oak, amazing concentration and palate length and a creamy, savoury finish. 2019-29

94 points

Radford Dale Chardonnay 2017

Stellenbosch, 11.5%

With his background in Burgundy, Alex Dale has always had a sure touch with Chardonnay. This fresh, light-bodied style, all from the Polkadraai Hills, is light, nuanced and focused, showing notes of struck match and lemon butter and impressive palate length. 2019-25

93 points

Radford Dale Vinum Chenin Blanc 2017

Stellenbosch, 12.5%

The core of this wine is a 48-year-old vineyard on the Helderberg. It’s all about fruit, with only 30% of wooded material, subtle skin contact for some grip, bracing acidity and flavours of pear, wet stones and spicy, palate-coating concentration. 2019-25

93 points

Radford Dale The Antidote Gamay Noir

Stellenbosch, 12.5%

Inspired by the Cru wines of the northern Beaujolais, this is a new release for Radford Dale,
made with carbonic maceration. Lightly wooded, it’s a very ambitious Gamay, with pepper
spice, bramble and raspberry fruit and crunchy, lip-smacking acidity. 2019-25

93 points

Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2017

Elgin, 13.5%

“We’ve taken a long time to refine the style,” says Jacques de Klerk of this unfined, unfiltered, whole berry fermented Pinot. There’s a bit of what he calls “grunt” here, as well as subtle reduction, but the underlying fruit is pure, sweet and wonderfully juicy. 2019-24

 

92 points

Radford Dale AD Pinot Noir 2016

Elgin, 13%

AD is made with the 115 and 777 clones and is all about perfume and approachability, with no whole bunches or new wood, just refined fruit from Elgin Orchards. Pretty and very enticing, it’s a Pinot Noir for lovers of Chambolle-Musigny. 2019-24

91 points

Radford Dale Syrah 2015

Stellenbosch, 13.5%

Laterite soils in Firgrove supply the fruit for this grippy, savoury Syrah. There’s a feral note to this wine, as well as 15% whole bunch spice. Firm and serious, even at lower alcohol levels, it needs time in bottle to soften. 2019-25

90 Points

Radford Dale Black Rock 2015

Swartland, 13.5%

Grown on granite soils in the Swartland, Black Rock is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sinkRhône blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Viognier. It’s a tight, rather tannic wine at the moment with a funky undertone and good concentration. 2020-25

You can download the report in full from Tim's website www.timatkin.com for R395 or £20.

Freshly Pressed 2018
PRESS 2018.jpg
Port2Port
We've had the good fortune to meet the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and two Ladies) ofRadford Dale this week - we suggest you read the story to get the reference here: https://bit.ly/2qorfICAlternatively, there's a special case right here:https://bit.ly/2JD2jVS And their individual wines available here: https://bit.ly/2EEtH25 With their Black Rock 2014 wine identified as Platter's Best Red Wine of 2017, we have a feeling you can't go wrong.

#ALeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemenAndTwoLadies#RadfordDale

— Products shown: Radford Dale - Vinum Chenin Blanc (2017)Radford Dale - Nudity Syrah (2015),Radford Dale - Thirst Gamay (2017)Radford Dale - Syrah (2014)Radford Dale - Thirst Clairette (2017),Radford Dale - Thirst Cinsault (2017)Radford Dale - Black Rock (2015)Radford Dale - Freedom Pinot Noir (2016)Radford Dale - Chardonnay (2016) andRadford Dale - Chardonnay (2013)

Super cool write up from Oddbins of our Thirst Gamay Noir:

http://www.oddbins.com/radford-dale-thirst-gamay-2017

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