Vinous 89 points - (29% Syrah, 29% Mourvedre, 13% Grenache, 13% Carignan, 8% Tannat and 8% Petite Sirah): Bright red-ruby. Very tight, discreet nose hints at dark berries, black cherry and menthol, plus a touch of chocolate. Well-delineated dark berry and oak flavors display attractive sweetness and noteworth intensity. Finishes firmly tannic and nicely dry in spite of its 3.7 g/l r.s. This harmonious, round blend is attractive already but has the energy to evolve slowly in bottle.
Wine Spectator 90 points - Enticing, with warmed fruitcake, fig paste, blackberry coulis and licorice snap notes coiled together and carrying through the wood spice- and bramble-edged finish. Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan, Tannat and Petite Sirah. Drink now. 2,400 cases made.
(Dec 15 2014)
Wine Advocate 88 points - The 2012 Chakalaka is a blend of 29% Syrah, 29% Mourvedre, 13% Grenache, 13% Carignan, 8% Petit Syrah and 8% Tannat that is raised in French and American oak for 22 months. It has a smoky, dark chocolate-scented bouquet that is reasonably well defined, the American wood lending a touch of espresso with time. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe juicy tannins, good acidity and a touch of piquancy on the dark plum, dark chocolate and raisin finish. A crowd-pleaser. (Oct 2014)