Testalonga El Bandito Skin contact, organic orange wine, elegant, fresh, fascinating. The skin contact from Craig Hawkins is evolving into a much more elegant style of orange wine. Less skin contact time and maturation leads to a fresher style, paler colour and a more elegant wine. The 2017 and 2018 have been delightfully light and sappy, notes of citrus fruits, red apple, and subtle herbs with just a sniff of classic Chenin Blanc honey. However, the 18 does have an unusual characteristic. In fact, I was in SA in February 2019 and we did a tasting with Craig of his wines. The wine displays a note of something which is very reminiscent of TCA (corky aroma, wet cardboard, musty) and many of the people round the table including some top sommeliers thought it was corked, myself included. In fact, Craig said that the wine has been tested for TCA a number of times and there is none present however it does display this strange aroma in the 2018 vintage which does smell like TCA. That's natural wine for you, sometimes it doesn't quite come out how you expect. Despite this, we think the wine is still excellent and very interesting. Leave it open for a couple of hours and then try it with stinky cheese and in our view it is still an excellent wine to drink.
|Production Method||Natural, Organic|
|Wine Type||Orange Wine|
|Wine Style||Full bodied|
|Terroir||From Boschgassfontein, aka the old Observatory Vineyard, planted in early ‘70s. With soils consist of old decomposing granite interspersed with quartz.|
|Maturation||Fermented with 5 weeks skin contact and lots of lees stirring.|
|Annual Production||0 - 5,000 bottles|
|Ageing Potential||Very good|