CHARGE YOUR GLASSES: RADFORD DALE VINUM 2022 IS HERE!
South Africa, Stellenbosch, 20 April 2023; The new releases of Radford Dale Vinum have been widely hailed as the best yet.
“Hugely enjoyable to drink, the Radford Dale Vinum range is at the intersection of individualism, value and quality. The range continues our quest for producing, honest, authentic wines that that feel natural rather than contrived,” Alex Dale, founder of Radford Dale Winery.
After two decades of production Radford Dale Vinum was re-launched in 2022 with the 2021 vintage. It grew from two heritage grapes, Chenin and Pinotage, to a complete fleet of single varietal wines comprised of what the Radford Dale team believes is the ultimate showcase of Cape terroir.
“The press we have received for the new releases is even better than for the 2021s, which is going some, and reflects what we think is an even stronger performance with the 2022 vintage of Radford Dale Vinums,” enthused Dale.
‘The second release of the Vinum range from Radford Dale, South Africa offers poise, elegance, affordability,’ wrote U.K based wine critic Dr Jamie Goode. ‘The wines massively over-deliver for the price.’ This statement from Goode ties into the core ethos of the range, which aims to offer earlier drinking pleasure as well as vintage expression.
While all the wines enjoyed high scores from the well-respected critic, it was the Vinum Grenache 2022 that he was particularly enamoured with, scoring it 94-points, writing:
Juicy and vivid with sweet plums and cherries, with pepper and mint notes. Sweet strawberry and raspberry on the palate with a juicy edge, fine green hints and a touch of pepper. There’s a lovely finesse to this with good acidity and a sense of purity. See the reviews here.
Head of winemaking and viticulture of Radford Dale, Jacques de Klerk is enthusiastic about the new vintage. “The cooler growing season was advantageous in that the slow and even ripening period brought a great degree of phenolic maturity in the reds, while the Chenin and Chardonnay showed lovely tension and zip as a result of punchy natural acidities.
“We’ve retained the original vineyards with which we started this journey and have now added other exceptional parcels to this growing portfolio,” shared De Klerk. “Our focus for the 2022 vintage of Vinum has been to refine the concepts with which the project had been initiated. With that said, there’s more instant appeal to the 2022 wines than in 2021 and I believe that over the next few months the latest vintage will really start to hit its stride to offer elegant, yet epically drinkable examples of our chosen varieties.”
Dale further comments on the evolution of the range, adding that since acquiring prime Elgin estate, Radford Dale Organic in 2021 the focus there has been on continued premiumisation in both vineyard and cellar. [Read more about Radford Dale Organic.]
As part of this Dale says they have culled some of the Terroir selection range wines, an example being the Stellenbosch Chardonnay as the grapes for the future flagship Chardonnay will now come entirely from the organic estate. “The grapes from the Stellenbosch vineyard are exclusively for the Radford Dale Vinum Chardonnay, and with this the quality becomes even more exceptional!
The Chenin Blanc is now comprised of a remarkable 50 per cent of grapes from Renaissance’s old bushvine site in the Helderberg (scaling up from the 2021 vintage). This has resulted in … ‘a slightly more weighted expression showing vivid fruit with tension and freshness,’ commented De Klerk.
The Pinotage, which uses fruit from the premium Pinotage Frankenstein block (also gnarly old bushvines from the Helderberg) now has components from bushvines in the Paardeberg, owned and farmed by one of South Africa’s most prominent grower-winemakers.
“Adding this parcel has resulted in a vintage expression that is pure and polished, achieving the kind of refinement that is extremely rare for the variety,” said De Klerk.
While Radford Dale Organic’s newly planted Gamay vineyard matures under the cool Elgin sun, the Vinum Gamay was sourced from blocks in the sought-after Polkadraai Hills in Stellenbosch, a portion of older vines, with the predominant fruit coming from two blocks Radford Dale planted in recent history. “These blocks were the first Gamay to be planted in South Africa for over 20 years,” Dale points out.
“Our understanding of Gamay and how it relates to local terroir and conditions continues to develop and with it, our love for it deepens,” adds De Klerk on Radford Dale’s commitment to the Beaujolais grape. They have taken cuttings from the Stellenbosch sites to establish the nascent Elgin vineyard. With a desire to grow the category in South Africa, the goal is to use the vineyard as a mother block for Gamay, making it available to the industry.
The Vinum Chardonnay as Dale mentioned is now made from the 28-year-old ocean-facing site in the Polkadraai Hills as well as two Helderberg blocks, which are coming into their peak at 12 and 14 years of age. On this vintage De Klerk says: “The 2022 has deeper fruit expression and added texture while retaining the poise of 2021.”
Writing on www.jancisrobinson.com Julia Harding MW scored the Chardonnay an impressive 16.5 on the 20-point quality scale the website favours.
…An enticing creamy, smoky, mealy aroma that enhances but doesn’t drown out the fruit, which is citrus and melon and a hint of clementine. Deeply flavoured, a little bit of oak spice, firm in texture and finely balanced with a long, fresh finish.
“Other additions include another dryland Stellenbosch vineyard of considerable age for the Grenache,” shared De Klerk. “For the Pinot Noir, as an the extension of the Bot River site we already use, now includes a coveted Stellenbosch parcel. The wine has more immediate appeal than 2021 with a darker expression of fruit along a fine-boned texture.
“They say in music, it’s not enough to have a great debut album. It’s in the follow up that a band really defines their sound and identity. That’s how we feel about Radford Dale Vinum 2022. With two vintages bottled and another in the works, we have gained way more confidence to produce wine at this level and style, consistently.”
The six wines in the VINUM range are available to buy online and are all priced at R198 per bottle (cellar door price).
For more information about Radford Dale Winery, visit www.radforddale.com
For Press and media assistance contact Ian Hamilton Manley via firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 (0) 82 826 0456.