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2020 FULL STOP ROCK, Newton Johnson. Cape Coast, SA

Bin:  476

Alcohol percentage:  13.5%


Full Stop Rock takes its name from the infamous rock well known to the surfers at Cape St Francis. The vineyard – at 235 metres – is directly opposite the cellar and is planted mostly with Syrah, with Grenache, and some Mourvèdre. Whilst the top of the granite slope is trellised, the bottom corner is covered in boulders, so the vines are grown in the high density en échelas system (trained on a single pole) as seen in Côte Rôtie and Hermitage.

Grape variety:

71% Syrah and 21% Grenache.


Newton Johnson was founded in the mid 1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity. In just 30 years they have built a formidable reputation – mainly for their outstanding Burgundian styled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In recent times though they have branched out into other classic French varietals including Syrah and Grenache.

The first vintage was released in 1997 when all their fruit was bought in. They acquired the current farm in 2001 and today own 15 hectares of vines planted on north facing slopes of the Upper Hemel-en-Aadre Valley, but with a further 3.5 hectares on much warmer south facing sites, when the Rhône varieties are planted. Today, both sons (Bevan and Gordon) are directly involved in the business – both in winemaking and the commercial running.


The bunches were handpicked, mainly destemmed, and chilled overnight. A small proportion of whole bunches were used, and fermentation was carried out with indigenous yeasts. The wine spent 25 days on the skins before pressing. Matured for 12 months in 500lt French oak barrels with a light toast, just 5% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. The final blend was 71% Syrah and 21% Grenache.

Old Bridge rating:

This is a stylish take on the Rhône – with a fine purity, blackberry fruit, touch of smokiness, and very savoury. Dry with fine tannins, bright and refined. Lovely texture and mouthfeel – nothing heavy.

You can enjoy now but can equally age for another 3-5 years. No need to decant and can be enjoyed cool in the summer months.


£15.15 per bottle in a mixed case of 6 bottles
£14.36 per bottle in a mixed case of 12 bottles