Testalonga Cortez El Bandito 2021

Testalonga Cortez
Please note: The image may not show the actual vintage available. Please check the product details for the actual vintage.

Perfect for:

The weekend

Looks, Smells, Tastes like:

Full, Toasty, Textured

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Testalonga Cortez Chenin Blanc Craig Hawkins, rich, round, minerally, top Natural South African Chenin! It has a beautiful bright golden colour with aromas of wild honey and freshly baked bread which contrast with its dry, very racy with tangible sinewy texture. There is plenty of depth and complexity in the Testalonga Cortez Chenin.  There is a core of Asian pear and orange peel, layers of herbs, fennel, nuts with almost a seaweed saltiness and minerality. Seems to be quite Jura like in style but is also distinctively New World. Fascinating Chenin showing how South Africa is becoming a very exciting country for natural wine with life and vigour!

Is Vegan? Yes
Bottle Size 750ml
Production Method Natural, Organic
Producer Craig Hawkins Testalonga
Country South Africa
Region Swartland, SA
Vintage 2021
Wine Type Dry White Wine
Wine Style Medium bodied
Grape Chenin Blanc
Terroir Granite
Alcohol 12.5% abv
Maturation Whole bunch pressed. Aged in 500l barrels and one large tank
Total Sulphur 23 mg/l
Annual Production 0 - 5,000 bottles
Ageing Potential Very good but there is so little, it never makes it!
Food Matching Firm White Fish, Rich Sauces, Shellfish

Craig Hawkins is a young winemaker based in the Swartland, South Africa, where he makes delicious natural wines at his farm called Banditskloof.

Having travelled extensively throughout Europe, and then worked as wine maker for Lammershoek, he now makes makes a huge variety of different wines under his own Testalonga label and has his own vines at the beautifully named 'Banditsskloof' farm in Swartland.  These are beautiful, natural hand-crafted wines from low yielding organic vines.  Craig only uses wild ferments and nothing is added except a little SO2 at bottling in some but not all the wines and vintages.

Over the years, Craig has expanded his repertoire and now makes some 15 different Cuvee including some delicious Pet Nat sparklers.  His wines continue to promote natural freshness, balance and quality and increasingly, a more precise and refined style.  The superb El Bandito Skin Contact Chenin Blanc is a very different wine from 12 years ago when we first tasted it and much more elegant and easy drinking.



Based on 1 review

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  1. Stephen


    Chenin Blanc from SA can be on the heavy side for my liking – this is everything and anything but that! Layer upon layer of flavour hits you with each new sip – fresh apples, baked apples, honeyed flavours, brioche….the list goes on! The refreshing acidity lifting the whole wine into another dimension!! Memorable stuff.

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The Natural Wine Lexicon

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Natural Yeast Fermentation
  • Nothing Removed, Nothing Added
  • Hand Harvest
  • Unfined
  • Unfilitered
  • Low Sulphur
  • No Added Sulphur
Natural wine explained. Read more

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