Thorne & Daughters, Rocking Horse Cape White 750ml 2018South Africa, Western Cape
'Roussanne, semillon, chardonnay, clairette & chenin make a seamless, complex whole in lightly rich & ripe, delicate but forceful 2018. Texture like rippling silk, shot through with fresh lemony acidity. Tantalising but satisfying to the long-lingering finish. Natural ferment & maturation in old oak, as for all these wines.' – Platter’s Guide 2020, 5* (97/100)
'Rocking Horse is a cuvée of grapes and areas, combining Roussanne, Semillon, Chardonnay, Clairette Blanche and Chenin Blanc from four different regions. Showing John Seccombe's skills as a blender, it's leesy, herbal and seamlessly balanced with spice, pear and oatmeal flavours and racy, stony acidity. 2020-25.' – Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2019, 96/100
'Aromas of pear, white peach and apple to go with yellow earth and fresh herbs. Pure fruit, zippy acidity and a pithy finish – intense but not weighty. Leaner than 2017 but possessing plenty of intricacy.' – Christian Eedes, 94/100
The newly-released 2018 Thorne and Daughters Rocking Horse Cape White and Wanderer’s Heart offer immense value, especially when considering the prices of other signature blends. These finely crafted 2018s highlight John Seccombe’s astute fine wine vision and are awesome at this price point. Working with various heritage vineyards, the 2018 Rocking Horse Cape White is a multi-vineyard, multi-varietal blend that takes its aesthetic from white Burgundy rather than Rhône – John prefers refinement over weight. The 2018 is a stunning wine with poised aromas and a deliciously dry and savoury palate. It really attests to John's attentive winemaking.
Despite the richness available in the 2018 vintage, we have managed to walk a fine line and retain some wonderful acidity in the wines this year. The aromas are of yellow plum, kumquat, sweet bay leaf and crushed oyster shell. In the mouth, the wine starts broad and rich, resolving into a keen line of acidity supported by a gentle tannin.
The growing season for vintage 2018 was dominated by a dry winter and a hot summer. This meant that many vineyards produced intensely flavoured fruit with lower yields than normal. Viticulturists and winemakers who didn’t want to add acid in the winery had to pick early to as natural acid levels dropped rapidly as sugars increased. For those who farmed vineyards attentively to conserve moisture and watched acid levels were rewarded with wines of medium to high intensity with balanced fruit weight and, in John’s case, refreshing acidity giving tension and length. This is especially true for blended wines that benefited from parcels differing in ripeness and acidity. As a result, the Rocking Horse and Wanderer’s Heart are the standout wines in 2018.
|Drink To||Drink or cellar|
|Producer||Thorne & Daughters|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | TA: Tim Atkin MW | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WS: Wine Spectator