A new selection of AVR Wines. Handcrafted | Artisinal | Distinctive

From the pen of Greg Sherwood MW - a London based South African Master of Wine and Specialist Fine Wine Buyer

"André van Rensburg Storms the Bastille with his Maiden Red and White Releases – Tasting the Most Exciting New Releases of 2021…" -

96/100 AVR White | Wine Safari Score - Greg Sherwood MW

"André van Rensburg Artisan Wines Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2021, WO Stellenbosch, 13.86% Abv.

1.6 g/l RS | 6.8g/l TA | 3.11 pH

This very impressive maiden release is a blend of 86% Sauvignon Blanc but also features a 14% splash of Semillon for some extra salt and pepper complexity and mid-palate textural finesse. Regarded as his signature white grape, this beautifully crafted wine is certainly no “facile poolside quaffer” as André’s UK importer and close friend, Richard Kelley MW sternly proclaims. And indeed he is right!

This is a very serious barrel-fermented example in the style of top white Bordeaux expressions that is approachable now but will undoubtedly benefit from further maturation of up to a decade or more in the cellar. In the glass, the aromatics are packed with apple blossom, ruby grapefruit, citrus lemon, crunchy green apple, savoury gooseberry, fresh dill and tantalising touches of lemongrass and tangerine peel. But it’s on the palate where the true class and pedigree of André’s winemaking is revealed, boasting a concentrated, energy packed mouthful bursting with tangy gooseberry, lemon oil, crystallised ginger and lemongrass spice underpinned by a dusty, granitic crushed gravel minerality. The texture is super compact and dense, glycerol and mouth coating with just the most subtle hints of vanilla oak spice, a lick of lanolin, lime leaf and a spine-tingling acidity on the finish. This is certainly one of the finest Sauvignon – Semillon blends I have tasted in the past several years. Chapeau André!

(Wine Safari Score: 96/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

97/100 AVR Red | Wine Safari Score - Greg Sherwood MW

André van Rensburg Artisan Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2020, WO Stellenbosch, 14.5% Abv.

2.8g/l RS | 5.6g/l TA | 3.63 pH

I often wonder whether André made greater red or white wines in his previous life as head winemaker at Vergelegen. The problem is that his whites were so exceptional, that sometimes what he achieved with Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux varieties was maybe sometimes overshadowed. But for me, André, the self-proclaimed Chateau Petrus-lover, was always the quintessential red wine obsessive, producing some of the most classically styled reds in South Africa when sweet, fruity, over ripe Parkerized wines were the flavour of the day. Like Sauvignon Blanc is his white signature grape, so too are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot his red counterparts.

This Van Rensburg red features 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot but also includes a small addition of 7% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc and the wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barriques, 50% of them new. The aromatics are set to slow-release and gently ease their way out the glass in a leisurely fashion to reveal a complex melange of earthy violets, melted milk chocolate, forest berries, freshly tilled earth, raspberry liquor chocolates and undertones of dried herbs, melted tar and black berry compote. The palate is silky soft and beautifully elegant with a medium-bodied weight, soft brittle tannins and an almost 2017-esque weightless concentration of black berries, red currants, light soy, cherry tobacco and crème de cassis. There is an incredibly fine, seamless mouthfeel that is cool, compact and incredibly classical and fine boned. This is André flexing his winemaking muscles to the max, creating a superstar Bordeaux blend that is going to make some serious waves in the local and international marketplace. I feel privileged to vinously share in the next chapter of this great winemaker’s wine journey. Drink now or cellar for 15+ years.

(Wine Safari Score: 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW)



André van Rensburg


“Success can be measured by the countless local and international awards André has enjoyed during his distinguished career. My first encounter with the relatively unknown André was in 1995. Even then, the winemaking genius was apparent.

We became good friends. Our long-standing relationship is a tale of two ill-matched individuals: the outspoken rock spider and the quiet English rooinek. The quintessential odd couple. Over the last three decades, I’ve come to understand that André is the greatest winemaker in the world. It’s something he reminds me of every time we meet.” - RICHARD KELLEY, MASTER OF WINE

The wine is all about my philosophy in winemaking.

The core is my family crest.

But then we modified it slightly.

On the left is Gert the African Grey, named after Prof. Gerhard Pietersen, who helped us with the virus project. And Gert wears a crown, because of the importance of virus free vineyards.

Gert has also grabbed a comet, which symbolises that one must grab the opportunities coming your way.

On the the right is the rooster Koos next to a bunch of grapes. The rooster is a nod to the French influence in our winemaking, as it is also their national emblem.

Next to Koos is a bunch of grapes because it is all about making wine. The motto Audentis Fortuna Iuvat - Fortune favours the Brave.

The capsule is tin and shows AvR Artisan wine. Each bottle is wrapped in tissue paper with the AvR emblem as a kind of watermark.

The tissue paper is closed by a royal blue AvR sticker. I sell luxury wine. Unashamedly - with fitting packaging.

Presenting AVR White & AVR Red. Simple & Elegant

André van Rensburg White

This first release is produced from what is without doubt André van Rensburg's signature white grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc. Be sure to note that this is no facile poolside quaffer. It’s a serious barrel-fermented complex example, supported by a small proportion of Semillon. Approachable now, it would benefit from further maturation and should still be drinking well into the next decade. 

Buy AVR White

André van Rensburg Red

This first release is produced from what is without doubt André van Rensburg’s signature two red grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, with the addition of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The wine enjoyed 18 months in French oak barriques, half of them new. Approachable on release, expect this to drink well into the next decade.

Buy AVR Red