The DAMASCENE Vineyards new vintage releases
Why damascene and Jean Smit have restored my faith in the idea of luxury.
The new range of Damascene wines has restored my faith in luxury.
Of course, this is not a new observation. But perhaps it is one that I’ve been slow to internalise. Perhaps I’ve been too busy marvelling at the exquisite alchemical magic and mystery of wine at a molecular level to notice that much of what gets sold as “luxury” in the wine industry achieves that status through pricing strategy, brand positioning, and a manufactured sense of exclusivity. As opposed to earning the title through to the acknowledgement of the costs and effort that go into the act of delivering genuine, coherent, beauty.
“[Luxury] can only really occur when visual aesthetic and sensory intricacy are combined with skillful storytelling that is entirely congruent with the life and habits of the storyteller. And no, it’s not scalable.”
Is “truth” the new luxury?
What is Damascene?
First, do no harm
“[Jean’s] striving for excellence is as ruthless as his desire to show consideration. Mindsets that don’t cohere to this may find the Damascene experience slightly uncomfortable.”
Damascene Syrah 2021 W.O. Stellenbosch
A wine comprised of fruit from three hallowed sites in Stellenbosch; the higher altitude granitic sites of Botellary and the Polkadraai Hills, contrasted with the lower-lying and slightly lusher Devon Valley.
A light-footed, intricate 95 points
Damascene Syrah 2021 W.O. Swartland
A polished, persistent 95 points.
Damascene Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 W.O. Stellenbosch
A pure and powerful 94 points
(with another 3 or 4 points to spare for those who have the patience and some space in their cellar).
Damascene Cabernet Franc 2021 W.O. Stellenbosch
An immediately likeable 93 points
Damascene Semillon 2021 W.O. Franschhoek