Newton Johnson, Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2021

(2 reviews)

Newton Johnson truly is a family run estate; founded by Dave and Felicity Johnson (née Newton), and currently headed up by their sons Bevan and Gordon, who are in charge of their marketing and winemaking respectively.

Whilst Newton Johnson’s portfolio is host to a range of different wines and cultivars, they are preeminent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialists. This is their flagship Pinot, which they describe as ‘the archetype’ of their farm.

The pale colour of the wine belies the cornucopia of aromas and flavours within. The wine is elegant, perfumed and refined. Expect aromas of strawberry, cherry and black tea. The red fruit shows through on the palate alongside great minerality and grippy tannin. The finish lingers, enticing one to have another sip.

95pts | Tim Atkin


In stock


Pinot Noir

LightFull Bodied


‘The Family Vineyards Pinot Noir is the archetype of our farm, having evolved from the vineyard sites with the most repute and refinement. Through the years every aspect of these vineyards has been detailed and fine-tuned to illustrate their authenticity and is the embodiment of our relationship with this farm.

Each vineyard has developed signature attributes, providing us with further insight into the complexity, texture, and subtle variation in each of these vineyards’ wines. They all lie mid-slope in duplex soil with restrained vigour. Various expanses of iron rich clay allow retention of enough water and nutrients to safeguard the vines from any stress. Highest of all near the winery the clay is shallow and the gravel fragments larger, articulating into wines with darkened fruit and sturdy backbone. Following the slope below these vineyards, the soil is deeper and finer in texture, where the roots search for the clay. The wines here appear with more red fruit and opulence.

This wine represents the soil of the entire domaine. The fine-textured Granite translates into a delicately structured wine, every bit as intense as Pinot Noir at its authentic best: Seductive, soft handed and persistent.’


Growing Season & Harvesting
An unprecedented vintage with remarkably long ripening. The growing season started off with rapid and even budding due to some warm spikes in the middle of September. Abundant rain fuelled the growth of the vines under mild temperatures, where we managed to avoid any mildew issues with a massive deluge of rain in the middle of Pinot noir and Chardonnay flowering in late October. The rest of the growing season was characterised by mild temperatures and intermittent rains, with another substantial rain event during veraison. The harvest months of February and March saw us picking in between weekly rains. Botrytis rot was rampant in much of the valley though our crop losses were fortunately negligeable. The bulk of our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were picked in late February and into March. The Pinot Noir averaged 105 days of ripening from flowering to harvest, the first time we have exceeded the 100-day mark, that saw beautifully evolved and complex flavours with concentration and fine, ripe tannins. The white wines of 2020 also express remarkable definition and depth due to the length of ripening. In contrast with the norm, we had to wait patiently for ripeness instead of being chased by it.
These Pinot Noir vineyards were harvested between 6 February – 2 March.

The grapes are packed into large-surface area crates to limit pressure on the bunches. The day’s harvest is cooled down overnight to 8ºC in the winery’s refrigerated cold room. The bunches are sorted on a conveyor, destemmed, and fall directly to the fermenter (with no crushing). No sulphur is used in the winemaking, allowing diverse micro-organisms from the grape itself to flourish unrestrained in the spontaneous fermentation. These vineyard parcels also contain a discretionary percentage of whole bunches, which vary substantially between each site. Cold maceration ensues for 5 to 6 days at 8 to 10°C. All parcels are fermented by spontaneous yeasts, and only pigeage (punching down) applied for extraction. The wine spends approximately 20 days on the skins before pressing. After pressing, it is racked and left to complete its malolactic fermentation and maturation in barrel on its lees.

Maturation & Bottling
Matured for 11 months in barrique (228L) barrels produced in Burgundy and custom made for the various vineyards. Tighter grained oak is preferred for subtle flavour, with longer seasoning and slower, lower temperature toasting. New oak comprises 26%. The wine is racked to stainless steel tanks for another 6 months of élevage. No fining or filtration, and a sulphur adjustment before bottling.

These vineyards lie in the most favourable soil structures of porphyritic Granite on the mid slope, ranging from 220 to 290m in altitude, in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. This appellation ranges from 4 to 8 km in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is cool and temperate, where parallel mountain ranges channel the southerly oceangoing winds through the appellation during the summer. These southerly winds in turn create regular sea mists and overcast conditions, moderating the temperatures in the valley. The annual rainfall is 850mm, with 50% falling in the winter months (May – August).

Decomposed granite over iron-rich clay subsoil. Depth of the soil ranges from 70 to 130cm. Fine textured gravel to coarse fragments on the uppermost slopes and broken up claystone in places.

Additional information

Alcohol vol



Pinot Noir





Wine Farm

Pairs deliciously with all types of roast poultry - from chicken to pheasant.

2 reviews for Newton Johnson, Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2021

  1. 96pts | Tim Atkin

    Family Vineyards is a four vineyard blend – including south-facing Sandford for the first time in 2021 – and is lighter on its feet than some of its predecessors. Spicy and intense, with some granitic grip, forest floor and tobacco leaf undertones and racy red cherry and pomegranate fruit. 2023-30

    Tim Atkin 2022 SA Report

  2. 94pts | Platter’s

    Seductive 2021 represents all soils of home-farm pinot sites. Imbued with signature perfume of cranberry, strawberry & spice hint from 11 months oaking, 29% new. Wonderful concentration & fruit purity, silky persistence, cellarable structure.

    Wine tasted by Cathy van Zyl.

    Platter’s 2023

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