The DAMASCENE founders were united by three passions; the pursuit of excellence, a spirit of discovery, and the desire to preserve nature through sustainable agriculture. Wine entrepreneur David Curl (the former owner of Chateau Gaby in Canon-Fronsac) had begun discussions with winemaker Jean Smit about his involvement in Moya Meaker wines; an Elgin-based winery focussing on premium cool-climate Burgundy cultivars.
But after many long conversations about life, the meaning of quality, and the philosophical search for what wine should be (rather than what it is) they were both convinced that their collaboration would not end there. Within six months, Damascene was conceived; a series of wines that would tell the story, not of their owners, or marketing trends, but of the very vineyards themselves. Damascene wines are about telling stories. They’re born to express the way that man and place collaborate to form narrative. Both vineyard and viticulturist play a role in the story. The winemaker plays the role of editor, and each of our wines tells of their own adventure.
‘Fragrant notes of Highveld scrub abound; leafy and spiced with cedar. Elements of cinnamon, wrapped in spools of sweet tobacco and hay add complexity. On the palate, there’s an edge of wet black gravel before the firm, fresh red fruit comes fully into focus, adorned by fennel bulb, bramble, plums, redcurrants, and a glorious line of savoury tomato essence. The wine is opulent in structure, without being heavy-handed. Supple tannins weave around a core of black plum fruit and soy, buoyed by a gentle, cleansing acidity followed by a velvety, smooth finish.’ – Winemaker
‘From Bottelary vineyards on granite. The nose shows rose, red currant plus pretty and intriguing herbal notes while the palate is ethereal – light-bodied but not angular or attenuated. Great fruit purity and lively acidity before a finish that is long and dry but certainly not astringent. A precise wine but equally full of charm. Something of a revelation as to what can be achieved with this variety locally.’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 96/100