AA Badenhorst Wines – Autumn Releases 2023

“We put everything into all of our wines as we have put everything into this property and into the vineyards.”
– Andre Adriaan (Adi) Badenhorst

We are extremely pleased to announce the arrival of the new Badenhorst vintages, including some single-vineyard wines not previously available in Australia

AA Badenhorst Family Wines is based on Kalmoesfontein Farm in the Paardeberg area of the Swartland, roughly 60km north-east of Cape Town. A mix of old bushvines vineyards planted in the 1950s and 1960s, and young vineyards planted by Adi and his team. They have restored a neglected cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930s to make wines in a traditional way

Adi was a founding member of both the Swartland Revolution and Swartland Independant Producers Association. He is without doubt one of the most influential winemakers in South Africa. His generosity towards the next generation of winemakers and viticulturists is well known.

He also puts some pretty decent stuff in bottle.

“One of the most fascinating people in the South African wine scene is Adi Badenhorst.”
Jamie Goode – wineanorak.com

This is by far our largest shipment from Adi. We have the following new wines to offer, many for the first time, with (LUC):

Secateurs Chenin Blanc 2021 LUC / 23
Secateurs as a label is Adi’s regional range. Using the young vineyards from Kalmoesfontein and supplemented with fruit from around the Swartland, this wine is an excellent example of what all the fuss is with the Swartland, and South African Chenin Blanc.

Secateurs Red 2021 LUC / 20
50% Syrah, with the rest being Cinsaut and Grenache.  Classic Secateurs red from a very, very good year. 2021 had everything in almost perfect balance. Fermented and aged in large concrete and foudre. Super pure spicy red and black fruits with earthy minerality. Medium-bodied deliciousness.
He also puts some pretty decent stuff in bottle.

Papegaai 2021 LUC / 29
This is a super fun wine imagined by Adi as “a snapshot of Kalmoesfontein”. Papegaai means “parrot” in Afrikaans – Adi is a dedicated voëlliefhebber (bird lover).  Over the course of about 10 days Adi and his team picked portions from most vineyards on the farm and ferment them all together. Some batches were whole-bunch, some were destemmed. It is a real mix – “probably 21-22 different varieties I think“, says Adi. 

Roughly 60% red to 40% white, he even added in a tiny portion of 4-5 year old Sauvignon Blanc that had been ageing under flor. The fruit was picked early and is a mix of old and young vineyards.  Super crunchy with *just* the right amount of fruit vs structure. Drink slightly chilled.

Kalmoesfontein White 2020 LUC / 55
The cornerstone white of the Badenhorst wines. A blend of the oldest vineyards on the property with some of the younger ones (if they add quality and depth). This (in my opinion) is the best wine Adi and his team make.

Predominantly from Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc but typically includes many other varieties picked, pressed and fermented together. Captivating aromatics of white and yellow fruit, potpourri, herbs, earth and spice while the palate has great fruit definition, punchy acidity. Not without power, this is a wine of breadth, depth and length. Plenty of detail. 96/100. Christian Eedes (winemag.co.za)

Kalmoesfontein Red 2020 
LUC / 55
As with the Kalmoesfontein white, it is a blend of varieties, mostly from the oldest vineyards on the farm. Large format vessels here, concrete and foudre.

Consisting primarily of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache but also multiple other varieties, these co-fermented. The nose is quite heady with notes of red and black berries, lavender, fennel and fynbos while has plenty of ripe fruit and fine tannins – full of flavour with a nicely savoury finish. 93/100 Christian Eedes (winemag.co.za)

Although we have imported a tiny amount of the single vineyard reds before, this is the first time we have imported the Chenins. We have also imported more quantity this time.

These wines are from the original vineyards on the farm, planted in the 1950s and 1960s, that Adi and his team have lovingly brought back to rude health with sympathetic, quality-minded farming.

Most of the fruit from these vineyards ends up in the two Kalmoesfontien wines (above), Adi bottles a tiny amount from each vineyard if he believes the quality and typicity is there. 

Essentially the winemaking is the same for all the whites: handpicked into small 20kg crates and chilled overnight in a cool room. The grapes are pressed whole bunch and the juice is run-off directly to an old 1200L foudre. The fermentation takes a few months to complete naturally. The wine stays on its gross lees for the entirety of its maturation where after it is bottled without any fining or filtration.

The two reds differ slightly – described below.

2021 was an outstanding vintage in South Africa, so he (and we) went pretty hard at these wines. Enjoy!