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Michelin Star Wine
Low Sulphite Vegan
Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact - Buon Vino Natural Wines
Please note: The image may not show the actual vintage available. Please check the product details for the actual vintage.

Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact 2019 (Orange Wine)

Availability: 4 In stock


Additional Information

Recommended Michelin Star Wine
One Line Description Testalonga El Bandito Skin contact, organic orange wine, savoury, racy, elegant, subtle, fascinating.
Production Method Natural, Organic
Country South Africa South African
Region Swartland, SA
Producer Craig Hawkins
Vintage 2019
Wine Type Orange Wine
Wine Style Full bodied
Grape Blend 100% Chenin Blanc
Alcohol 12% abv
Terroir From Boschgassfontein, aka the old Observatory Vineyard, planted in early ‘70s. With soils consist of old decomposing granite interspersed with quartz.
Total Sulphur Level 26mg/l
Maturation Fermented with 5 weeks skin contact and lots of lees stirring.
Annual Production 0 - 5,000 bottles
Ageing Potential Very good
Natural Features Low Sulphite (Sulphur), Vegan, Unfined, Unfiltered


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.

Craig Hawkins is a young winemaker based in the Swartland, South Africa, where he rents about 11ha of vineyard. 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. Each vintage is experimental and we think they're getting better each year. These are beautiful natural hand-crafted wines from low yielding vines, wild ferments and nothing added except a little SO2 at bottling in some but not all the wines.


1Reviews For Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact 2019 (Orange Wine)

  1. How good is this wine?

    Molly 19/05/2020

    This wine goes down a treat--it's far and away one of my favourite orange wines.

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