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** Extra discounts only apply to still wines under £50
“2019 turned out better than I ever hoped, a surprise for me because I was not all that excited about the vintage as it went on. Across South Africa I feel there were some wines that really stood and others that were at about the same level as usual. In 2020 though, I am completely excited, and have been since the grapes were on the vine. They will take longer to show their full potential but there is not one wine, at least in my range, that I don’t think is as good as it possibly can be. I felt from the start that this would be a killer vintage, and this is what I want. Incredibly happy.” - Donovan Rall
Donovan’s flagship wine, the Rall White 2020 is another beauty. The blend of 68% Chenin, 28% Verdelho and 4% Viognier reflects the times and the move toward more precise, ageworthy whites. In the early days it was all about more textured wines, similar to older vintages of Palladius. 2017 was the first vintage where Chardonnay was omitted from the blend in favour of a higher proportion of Verdelho. “It is an amazingly versatile variety and my secret weapon. It pushes the acidity up by a gram at least and it doesn’t go through full malolactic, so it’s nice and crispy without losing texture.” The components are aged separately, in 500L barrels for the Verdelho and Viognier and used barrique for the Chenin. No new oak is employed at all. We commented on the 2020’s stony, smoky, almost matchstick-esque reduction. “Some years that comes from the Chenin but this year it came from the Verdelho and I liked it so I blended it in. I love white Burgundy so it’s not something I’m scared of.” The 2020 has a beautiful aromatic feel, almost like a Blanc de Noir Champagne in its shape and style, with notes of citrus, cut apples, stones and a cleansing acidity.
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