On Saturday 26 April 2014, two long-time customers, Jonathan Westaway and David Eagle and their families arrived at the winery to the happy realisation that they were our first official visitors on our first day of being open to the public. A steady stream of curious visitors followed, despite the miserable weather and we were hopping around trying to look after everyone.

Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2009 94 points - Loam, espresso and bittersweet cocoa notes lead the way here, with a dense core of steeped black currant and warm plum sauce flavors. The long, charcoal-lined finish has a plush feel, ending with a savory echo. Drink now through 2020.From South Africa.—J.M.

Syrah Stellenbosch 393 2010 94 points - Features a dark profile, with blackberry, steeped black currant and melted black licorice notes rolled together. Fruit cake, plum skin and bramble accents add grip on the finish. Though still rather backward, this is showing more guts than polish now, featuring loads of charcoal-infused structure. Should age wonderfully. Best from 2016 through 2022. From South Africa.—J.M. 

Elevation 393 Stellenbosch 2008 93 points - Dark earth, roasted plum, singed cedar and coffee notes form the frame of this old-school Cabernet, with bay, tobacco, mulled currant, mint and steeped blackberry fruit at the core. The long finish lets the savory notes play out beautifully. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2018. – J.M.

Sijnn Malgas 2010 93 points - This has good range, with blueberry, loganberry and blackberry fruit pumping along, lined with texture-enhancing charcoal and roasted alder notes. Shows lots of briary grip through the finish, revealing a buried iron accent. Let this settle in the cellar for a bit. Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira. Best from 2015 through 2020.—J.M.

The Wine Spectator comprehensively taste BLIND any wine available in the U.S. and submitted free of charge. Wines are tasted every day by full time professionals and seldom more than 20 a day. (Their stock awaiting tasting is larger than our production!) The great classics like Ch. Latour and Ch. Yquem and most of the Grand Crus of Burgundy are tasted and rated on a regular basis. It is true that big wines with great intensity and complexity can do very well, but there are many fine, subtle and complex wines that do just as well too. Parker scores are probably the only scores to have a greater global influence, but the tastings are not blind.

Giles Webb in his vineyardsThelema is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg, with elevations ranging from 1,215 to 2,100 feet above sea level, making the estate one of the coolest and highest wine farms in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Owner Gyles Webb, a former accountant, abandoned his practice to study viticulture and oenology. In 1988 he produced Thelema's first vintage. Described as a rebel and a visionary, he crafted high quality, small production wines while most of his neighbors focused on quantity.

About Kinnegar

Kinnegar Wines was born almost by accident and been growing organically since.

In 1998, I was in the midde of a two year diploma course with the London Wine & Spirits Trust when an opportunity came up to visit South Africa's Western Cape. Naturally, I was keen to avail of the opportunity to learn more about viticulture and winemaking in South Africa.

We had an excellent guide who brought us to a number of the Cape's leading estates including Thelema and De Trafford where we had in depth vineyard and cellars tours. At the end of the day, I wanted to take back some of the wonderful wines we had tasted for our own use. It was not possible to take two or three cases of wine with us on our flight and shipping such a small quantity was more than the cost of wines. So I had the mad idea of shipping a pallet! Clearly, I had to start selling these wines and so began Kinnegar Wines. Ashford Castle took many of the wines and continue to list them and newer arrivals ever since.

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