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Thorne & Daughters


‘Rocking Horse’

Cape White Blend   |   Western Cape - South Africa


Rocking Horse is the cornerstone wine blend and takes its name from a wooden rocking horse that John and Tasha made for their daughters out of old oak barrel staves. It is the perfect example of wholeness and totality in a wine. The wine is composed from a number of carefully selected vineyard sites in the Western Cape. Sémillon takes center stage this vintage as the the primary component and comes from the Siebritskloof valley of the Paardeberg and the original site in Franschhoek.  The Roussanne hails from the granitic soils of Stellenbosch and iron-rich shale soils of the Voor-Paardeberg.  Nearly equal parts of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay come from the Paardeberg and high altitude reaches of the Ceres Plateau respectively. Finishing up the blend is a splash of Clairette Blanche from the Paardeberg.

2020 was a really magical season for John with grapes having a lot of textural ripe tones but with acid that just perseveres.  The grapes were handpicked and fermented separately without inoculation in barrel. A bit of skin contact was employed on the Clairette for intensity of flavor and aroma and all the ferments were on full solids. After nine to ten months the wines were racked to a blending tank to settle where they are bottled with a small addition of sulfur.


  • Grapes: 35% Sémillon - 28% Roussanne - 16% Chardonnay - 15% Chenin Blanc - 6% Clairette Blanche
  • Vineyard: Various Sites: Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Ceres Plateau
  • Vine Age: Chardonnay (7-years) - Chenin Blanc (41-years) - Clairette (37-years) - Roussanne (13-years) - Sémillon (38-years)
  • Soil Type: Decomposed Granite (Stellenbosch & Paardeberg) - Bokkevald Shale (Voor-Paardeberg) - Alluvial (Franschhoek) - Sandstone (Ceres Plateau)
  • Viticulture: Sustainable – dry-farmed
  • Fermentation: Native – neutral French barrels (whole-bunch pressed - Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Roussanne)
  • Skin Contact: 3 days (destemmed - Clairette)
  • Aging: 9-10 months in neutral French barrels (barriques, tonneau, demi-muid)
  • Alcohol: 13.69%
  • pH: 3.3
  • Total Acidity: 6.0 g/L
  • Total SO2: 80 ppm
  • Total Production: 1,125 cases
  • UPC: 700083680969

Tasting Note

Rich straw yellow. The nose is complex and expressive, brimming with notes of leesy lemon biscuits, white citrus, dried baking herbs, hay and dried tangerine peel. On the palate, the textural intricacy of fleshy white stone fruit and marzipan is showcased. This is framed by a tart lemon lime acid and a stony, liquid mineral granitic complexity. Beautifully sensual and pristinely balance, every mouthful stimulates the senses with crisp white peaches, crunchy green pears, granny smith apples, bay leaf herbal notes and yet more green mango and saline twang on the long exhilarating finish.

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