Magna Carta Skin Contact Semillon 2018

I’m afraid I don’t know much about the grapes in this wine, nor how it was made. 

So let’s forego the intro and jump straight into the wine.

The Wine:

It’s a beautiful rich pale golden colour with some haze. A shy nose that really doesn’t give you much more than green apples, cider, lemon peel, honeysuckle, pear, oxidative sourdough, and nuts. But it settles into a cheerful honey at the end.

Dry, high acidity and medium bodied. Again, apple cider and lemon are the first things that come to mind. Along with a salty nuttiness (walnuts?). I expected more of a silky mouthfeel, but this is tart and textured. As much as I’m surprised by the mouthfeel, I’m enjoying this. It’s not the slippy, silky, sexy Semillon I expected. But if this is the intended wine, looking beyond the slightly elevated VA, I’m happy to drink this.

Empty glass sniff? Ripe apples, honey, hay, pears, caramel. There’re none of the cider notes in the empty glass. Which makes me wonder if the cider notes were an intentional choice for the winemaker who practices minimal intervention and methods that are as natural as possible? What do you think?

Viti & Vini:

Mphumeledi Ndlangisa makes wines without the aid of chemical or mechanical destemmers or pumps or filters. Picture foot stomping. How romantic is that? He also uses little or no sulphur in his wines. How admirable is that?


Balance (0) + Length (1) + Intensity (1) + Complexity (1)  = A good wine...only because we've deducted mega points for balance. 

Drink now, not suitable for further ageing. Very much made in the natural style of wine. So if you're not fond of the apple cider qualities in some natural wines, give this one a skip.

Final Thoughts:

Today is Heritage Day in South Africa. Some people might call it Braai Day, but I love the idea of a day dedicated to our cultural heritage. I’ve been thinking about the legacy we’re building right now and how that pertains to my love for wine. A legacy that will become part of another generation's heritage. A legacy that includes everyone…a legacy where I can enjoy one of the first grapes brought to the Cape being turned on its head into an interesting and stimulating natural wine made by someone who looks like me. Happy Heritage Day!

Find the Wine:

I picked up my wines from who are one of few places to stock these wines. Their service was phenomenal.

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