Bryan McRobert has a day job, working in Eben Sadie’s cellar, but he also does a bit of moonlighting, making a few barrels of wine under his own Tobias label. It’s so healthy for a region when winemakers are doing their own home brew because it helps to make the scene more dynamic. It helps newcomers emerge even when they haven’t got pots of cash, allowing them to build gradually. Credit to all wineries who permit or encourage their winemakers to do this.
Bryan makes 1000 bottles each of these wines and his first vintage was 2009 for the white, 2010 for the red.
Bryan’s Tobias wines are brilliant, and seriously under-priced (when I was trying them they were 68 Rand each; they could easily keep company with 200 Rand bottles.) There’s a Chenin Blanc and a red blend that’s mostly Mourvèdre. They are made naturally and are incredibly expressive. Tobias is a member of the Swartland Independent organization.
Tobias White Steen 2010 Swartland, South Africa
Lovely elegant, richly textured white with real elegance as well as some weight. Notes of pear, peach. Bold, full and soft textured with a real sense of elegance. 92/100
Tobias Red Mourvedre 2010 Swartland, South Africa
Mourvèdre with a bit of Shiraz and some Cinsault. Supple, elegant nose is sweet with some cherry fruit and a pleasant green sappy edge. Superbly elegant, supple palate with fine cherry fruit and some spiciness. Expressive and fine. 94/100.