2012 A. A. Badenhorst Family Wines Family Red Blend

Year: 2012
Appellation: Swartland
Country: South Africa
Wine Advocate: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.8%
Price :

Cinsault, Shiraz , Grenache, Mourvedre and Pinotage

"The 2012 Family Red Blend, which had just been bottled, has a warm and inviting bouquet of red plums, squashed ripe strawberries and faint touches of fennel. It is well defined and really starts to blossom with aeration. The palate is focused and more tightly wound than other vintages that I have tasted. There is a little more backbone here, more linear than I expected. Dusky red plum and cranberry, salted licorices, fennel and thyme all come together nicely, although I suspect that it will benefit from a couple of years in bottle. Another success for Adi Badenhorst, albeit in a more restrained style.

If I were to compile my top ten unforgettable winery visits anywhere in the world, it would include Mr. Badenhorst. Arriving at his charmingly chaotic and expanding abode, a mixture of student digs and artisan winemaker, I was instantly impressed by “Are You Experienced” blaring from the stereo - naturally from vinyl and not CD. Adi himself was in his kitchen in a scene straight from “Breaking Bad." Instead of manufacturing Class A, the multitudinous demijohns of marinating indigenous shrubs and herbs are Adi’s tools of research into discovering the lost recipe for “Caperatif”: an extinct South African spirit listed on cocktail lists at the Savoy in the early 1900s. It was actually educational to spend a few minutes sniffing through these demijohns before tasting through Adi’s recent releases. Whereas once upon a short time ago Adi's wines were as wild his beard, I think he has instilled more consistency across the range. Adis’ wines have grown up, but like the man himself, matured without dispensing their sense of edginess, the feral quality that makes these wines so distinctive. These are funky wines in a positive sense. In the past, there were occasionally slipups in the winemaking that were translated into the bottle, but I feel that this has been addressed without compromising the unique Badenhorst spirit. The entry-level Secateur range remains a fantastic value, while the top wines translate Swartland through Adi’s fuzzy logic and irresistible charm. Adi’s wines are intermittently brilliant and never boring.

Post-script: just before going to print, a positively beaming Adi Badenhost told me that "Caperatif" is due to be commercialized later this year. " (WA)

Winery Notes:
The 2012 AA Badenhorst is the 7th release of this appellation wine. The vineyards are getting better as our understanding of them grows. This vintage will be quite reserved in its youth but is expected it to mature very well and grow into its potential. The tannins are prominent and well integrated and refreshing as a number of the parcels were picked quite early. The aromas are brooding but with complex notes of pepper, liquorice, perfume and black cherries. The palate entry is quite dense with lavender and dark berry fruit. The finish is dry with well spread tannins ending with savoury and currant flavours.