Nicholas Pearce presents low sulphur, low intervention refreshers from the Stellenbosch.

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Thirst are refreshing, lower alcohol, lower sulphur, naturally-made wines, with minimal intervention from the talented team at Radford Dale in Stellenbosch. They have not been stripped of any natural components and they are neither fined nor filtered and can show an amazing haze. Why? Thirst wines are like a live rock concert rather than a manufactured, boyband studio album.

Our aim is to express their environment, their varieties and vintage, in the most natural way. Our simple logic is the less you manipulate a wine, the better it is – and we therefore capture its integrity, energy and individuality. – Radford Dale

Radford Dale Thirst Clairette (Natural Cuvée)
$21.95 | 12x750mL

The single, old vineyard that produces the grapes for this distinctive wine grows in the crunchy, decomposed granite soil of the Polkadraai area in Stellenbosch.

This Clairette Blanche is an intriguing example of this quirky variety. Driven by its fresh citrus zest, the wine shows great focus. Generous lime and lemon flavours delight the palate and a mineral pithiness is displayed, before a long and tapering, saline finish.

As with all of our wines, the grapes are harvested by hand and then hand sorted, to ensure only the purest, healthiest fruit is used. The grapes are then de-stemmed and crushed, but instead of immediate pressing and separation of the juice from the skins the juice is left to macerate on the skins for 4 days. This builds texture and palate weight in the wine and imparts an interesting pithy note. Just before alcoholic fermentation kicks off, the wine is pressed and transferred to stainless steel vats for spontaneous natural fermentation. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration to preserve every nuance of its varietal and terroir expression.


Radford Dale Thirst Gamay (Natural Cuvee)
$21.95 | 12x750mL

Only a dozen hectares of Gamay are planted in South Africa and this vineyard is situated on the False Bay facing slopes of Stellenbosch.

This rare Gamay is lean and fruity but by no means simple. The palate displays supple tannins that provide texture, expressive red fruits, herbaceous tomato-leaf and a fantastic length. Utterly smashable.

Low, wire trellising and the sprawling growth of the variety mean that grapes are carried within the canopy, which shelters the thin skinned bunches from too much direct sunlight, thus conserving natural acidity and freshness. The yields are low in this vineyard as it was planted over three decades ago. In the cellar, semi-carbonic maceration methods were used during the natural fermentation, resulting in a wonderfully perfumed fruit expression.



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