Baby Bandito is a project we started in 2015. We wanted to work with vineyards that deliver wines that can be drunk young yet still “over deliver” in quality one would expect from our most affordable wine. There was a heavy influence from street artists (the good ones, not just your drunk student defacing someone’s wall, unless it was good) in the labels and the idea of a “series” using different and bright colours. The names of the wines come from expressions that we use as if giving encouragement to a child. “Keep on Punching” is an expression my good friend and hockey mate, Prof Lyal White (photographer of King of Grapes label), used to always say when the going got tough: “Keep on punching, the head will fall”.
NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA
NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig & Carla Hawkins
CELLAR LOCATION: Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland
TERROIR: Decomposed Sand stone, flat, 95m above sea level.
Planted in 1961, dry land bush vines (un-trellised), farmed organically. This is a block we started working with in 2017. It is a 4-ha block of Chenin planted on the sandstone soils of the Piketberg foothills on the way to Redelinghuys. It’s our oldest block of Chenin vines on soils that lie adjacent to a river, this provides enough water throughout the growing season. 2020 vintage was preceded by a lot more rain which definitely helped “flesh out” the wine, where we still have great acidity on the wine.
GRAPE: 100% Chenin Blanc
YIELDS: (hectolitre per hectare): 40hl/ha
Hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. Fermented in 3500L old Foudre and 2000L Stainless Steel tanks. Maturation in 2 x 3500L Foudre and 2 x 2000L Stainless tank. No yeast (or other) inoculation or additives apart from a small amount of SO2 shortly before bottling. Ambient fermentation (the juice/ wine is not cooled). 100% malolactic fermentation. A clarifying filtration was done, not fined.