Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse 2023


“Rocking Horse is our cornerstone wine, and takes its name from a wooden rocking horse that we made for our daughters out of old oak barrel staves. This is our signature wine and it is where all our work comes together to showcase our vision for a Cape White blend. The wine is composed from a number of carefully selected vineyard sites in the Western Cape.”

The 2023 vintage is one of layers and tension, with aromas of flint, peach and jasmine. The palate follows with gentle tropical notes, vanilla and yuzu on a tightly coiled finish.

Roussanne – 30% Stellenbosch / Paardeberg (14 years old) on decomposed granite / clay
Chenin Blanc – 28% Paardeberg (44 years old) on decomposed granite, and Malmesbury (40 years old) on iron-rich soils
Chardonnay – 20% Ceres Plateau (10 years old) on sandstone over clay
Semillon Blanc – 15% Swartland (60 and 14 years old) on alluvial soils
Clairette Blanche – 7% Worcester (45 years old) on alluvial soils

ANALYSIS: ALC 13.5% | RS 2.3 g/l | TA 5.9 g/l | pH 3.29


“A warm dry winter of 2022 set the tone for an average-sized crop overall with generally small berries bringing great concentration. December rains helped push the growing season through nicely despite the challenges that these showers can present. We were very grateful to have harvested most of our grapes before it started raining towards the end of the season. Our vineyard selection supports our vision to deliver a blended Cape White wine of depth, texture and subtlety. In sourcing Roussanne, Chardonnay, Semillon, Clairette Blanche and Chenin Blanc, we are looking for both heritage and more recently established vineyards which all bring their own unique elements and ability to speak about the place in which they are grown.

The winemaking remains simple. Our primary challenge during the harvest is to ensure that we pick all of our far-flung blocks at the right time and get them back to the winery in perfect condition. Once this is achieved, we revert to working with very little in the way of winemaking technique. Picking is done early and based mostly on taste with an eye on the style of the wine that we’re aiming at. We are not looking for a big alcohol expression (nor a low alcohol one for that matter), and prefer subtle wines that show ripeness, while being restrained and elegant. The grapes are wholebunch pressed and no treatments or additions are used on the juice. This hands-off regime on the juice really helps to develop the character of the wine. The juice is then racked off the heavy solids and taken to old oak barrels of various volumes. The wines are fermented naturally, and they are allowed to then go through their subsequent malolactic fermentation. We watch them carefully for the next few months until they settle down, at which point we add some sulphur dioxide. Primary fruit is not what we are looking for here, rather we’re trying to show the underlying character of the grapes and the vineyard where they came from.”


Additional Information

Thorne & Daughters