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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Restless River Wanderlusttext
90POINTS
16½/20

Restless River Wanderlust 2019

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Walker Bay, Overberg, South AfricaRestless River is a small, but mighty, family-owned winery in the cool Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Hundreds of years ago, the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley was known as Attacquas Kloof. In 1760 the elder, Wessel Wessels arrived with his family and set up home. Some historians say it was Wessel who called the valley 'Hemel-en-Aarde'. What is known for sure is that old man Wessels was the first European of settler descent to live in and farm the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Fast forward a few hundred years, when husband and wife Craig and Anne Wessels started planting part of the farm in 2004, launching the Restless River label in 2012 to continual critical acclaim. They have truly made a name for themselves, and the cool climate, higher altitude Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, with world-class wines like this. The Wanderlust project allows Craig the freedom to make a one-off wine each vintage. The 2019 is a medium-bodied blend of pinot noir and pinotage from neighbouring north-facing vineyards, around 215m, on granite soils with gravelled rocky loam over decomposed granite clays. The grapes were whole cluster, native fermented separately, partially carbonic, before being pressed off in their basket press, with the pinotage being pressed off after 7 days, before dry. The wine then moved into older French barrels (allowing the pinotage ferment to finish), where it remained for one year prior to a 2 month stint in stainless before bottling, without fining. Opening with a puff of reduction that quickly dissipates, this lighter red is tight and grippy, woven with green branch and fresh green herbs throughout bright cherry, green raspberry, with crunchy acidity, and light, downy tannins. Balance is brill on this glou-glou wine. Take now with a chill. 2520 bottles made.Tasted: 09 August 2021Tasted by: Treve RingProducer: Restless RiverDistributors: Le Sommelier Inc.
Blend: Pinot Noir - Pinotage