Newton-Johnson, Chardonnay, Western Cape, South Africa 2009
Family owned and founded as recently as 1997, nonetheless this producer has forged a fine reputation for its wines. This is a rich, complex example, creamy in texture, bolstered by ripe apple and tropical fruit, integrated oak, and cleansing, refreshing acidity. 17pts/20 (90/100)
Finca Sophenia, Reserve Malbec, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina 2009
The fruit for this wine comes from vineyards at 1,200m above sea level. It’s fragrant and juicy, and not overworked, relying instead on the fruit purity to show off the abundant plum and summer fruits. 17pts/20 (90/100)
AA Badenhorst, Secateurs Chenin Blanc, Swartland, South Africa 2011
Adi Badenhorst produces wines of great precision. This creamy, textured Chenin has fragrant floral notes, with honey-tinged apricots lifted with lime zest flavours. There’s also a pinch of spice that comes through on the long finish. 17pts/20 (90/100)
Morisfarms, Vermentino, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy 2011
The established (for Maremma) Morisfarms estate makes some of the region’s classiest reds and this IGT white is a nice surprise too: spicy fruit with good definition and a touch of richness on the palate.