Testalonga is the brainchild of natural winemaker Craig Hawkins. His farm, Banditskloof is about as “swartland legit” as you can get; complete with rusty gate, swinging wooden signpost, desert landscapes, giant dogs, and bushvines. Craig also happens to be one of South Africa’s most prominent natural winemakers, despite the fact that most of his chenin blancs are served in swanky Japanese Sushi bars (the pairing of the two is supreme!). It’s really tough to get hold of these wines, but (simultaneously) you can never really fully understand the Swartland Revolution movement without tasting a few of his wines. So, to complete your education, you’d do well to start off by hitting up the following sites:
As a parting thought, farming organically, and producing good natural wines, is an expensive process. Testalonga prices reflect this, and in turn their rand vs. reward/dollar vs delight ratio reflects this.
👃🏼 Nose shows pleasant yellow apple aromas, with sweeter white peach, and a hint of savoury sourdough.
👄 Palate carries zingy apricot acidity, lemon bon bons, yellow apple fruit, white peach, and slightly waxy mouthfeel. The skin contact evidence is very slight, but there is some phenolic grip on the back end, along with a pleasant cinnamon spice flourish.
🔬 Organically farmed Swartland fruit (from the Old Observatory Farm). Low yield old bush vines. Fermented for 8 days on skins in open top fermenters before being pressed into 3000-litre foudres.
💸💸 ZAR300.00 (as of December 2020)