#349 Terracura Smiley Red Blend Version 7


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Terracura: A new hope

For long-time fans of the Terracura brand, who may have feared that it had disappeared forever, there is a reason to celebrate:
New co-owner (and winemaker) Chris Groenewald has just completed his second vintage since being part of the vinous paramedic team that revived the COVID-battered wine brand of Terracura, and its range of wild and sublime wines.

Some Changes to the MO

Historically, Terracura was a purely Swartland wine brand, but Chris Groenewald’s firm commitment to only work with Organic and Biodynamic vineyards has forced him to cast his net a little wider, and work with vineyards further afield. Which explains why this current Smiley Red is labelled as “Wine of Origin Western Cape”.
Excitingly, Groenewald has been buildig up his solera system, which will enable the Smiley Red Ver8 to be a blend of FOUR vintages, as opposed to just the two in version 7. Stay tuned for more on that release!
If you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. Until then, here are my tasting notes and technical specs:


👃🏼 The vanguard carries a delightfully rustic melange of blackberry fruit, cherries, fresh earth, cinnamon, violets, and aniseed. Which all makes sense, given that the blend is two-thirds Syrah, but also feratures grapes like Touriga nacional and Cinsault, which can both be floral. Then there is also Tannat, which like Touriga, can also give us a hint of liquorice – or aniseed in riper styles.

👄 Having called it a geeky rustic wine, one must admit that it is hugely drinkable. The blackberry fruit is fresh and concentrated, but the fact that one third of the wine was already three years old at the time of the tasting means, that there is a softness to the palate as well. Around the edges of the wine there is definitely some fresher red fruit – cherries and even a bit of tart goji berry as well, which makes for a lot of fun.


🔬 Wine of Origin Western Cape; 89% whole-bunch ferment using only native yeasts. Open-top fermenters. Fruit is harvested from vineyards in Durbanville, the Breedekloof and the Swartland. The Syrah, Tannat and Cinsault vineyards have an average vine age of 20 years, while the Touriga is sourced from slightly younger vineyards (planted in 2011). The wine is made up of two-thirds 2023 vintage fruit, and one third 2021 vintage fruit. The blend is lead by a 58% Syrah component, backed up by 23% Cinsault, 12% Touriga Nacional, and 7% Tannat. | Alc 12.5% |
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