Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse 2021 – 97 points for an ‘electric vintage’

Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse 2021

97 points for an ‘electric vintage’

'What an accomplishment Rocking Horse 2021 from John Seccombe is,' says Christian Eedes. It's 'one of the most refined and complete offerings from this vintage yet tasted', he adds, and 'the rest of the range happens to be rather smart, too.' A stellar Cape white blend, the Rocking Horse leads an impressive set of small-parcel releases from what John describes as an 'electric vintage'.

Both the Rocking Horse and the Wanderer's Heart offer immense value, especially considering the price of other signature blends. The former is a multi-variety blend from various heritage vineyards and takes its aesthetic from white Burgundy rather than the Rhône. The 2021 Wanderer's Heart is a delicious and refined red that's built around Syrah and Grenache, with dollops of Mourvèdre and Carignan for energy.

The 2021 Tin Soldier Sémillon (Gris) has a strong following and continues to be one of our favourite orange wines. Skin-fermented, unfiltered, unfined and raised in old oak, it's a real gem and 'full of captivating detail', notes Christian, rating it 95.

The small-batch Paper Kite Sémillon is produced from a vineyard planted in 1963. The 2021 vintage sees the addition of some new Stockinger 500-litre barrels, which add extra texture and weight. We love this unique and compelling interpretation of Sémillon.

The Snakes & Ladders 2021 is among our favourite Sauvignon Blancs – it's a profound rendition of the variety. The 2021 shows immense length and a chalky, savoury character along with ripe blackcurrant, citrus, and layers of flavour. The fruit is from a special terroir, high up on the Citrusdal Mountain, that's home to the likes of Alheit's Makstok and Huilkrans, Botanica's Mary Delany, and the Sadie Family's Skurfberg.

Due to the drought and such low yields for the previous release, there was too little of the Cat's Cradle Swartland Chenin last year. Fortunately, 2021 is back on track and it's possible for us to offer this rare old-vine Chenin again. From two vineyards planted in 1973 and 1979, it's a beautifully poised, typical Swartland Chenin, with a salty, lingering finish.

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