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Sadie Columella 2017

£50 to £100 Collection by Philglas & Swiggot

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Eben Sadie is the most influential winemaker of his generation in South Africa. Having worked in wineries right around the world in the 1990s (Burgundy, Oregon, Italy, Austria and Germany) he returned to South Africa and started his own label, Sadie Family Wines, in 1999. Its first wine, the Syrah-based Columella 2000, was awarded 5 stars in the Platter Guide.  Palladius, its idiosyncratic flagship white, received 5 stars in its third (2004) vintage.  Following a period of supporting winemaking projects outside of South Africa he now focuses only on the wines in makes from vineyards in the Swaartland, Olifants River and Stellenbosch.
His hard work, attention to detail, diligence on organic farming methods and incredible knowledge of the Western Cape's vinous historical treasures have inspired those that work with him, around him and sell his wines globally. His influence today is prophetic, his wines are profound and extremely sought after. His flagship wines are Columella and Palladius, blends made from all the parcels and varieties he works with, while his Old Vine Series are a brilliant collection of single vineyard wines with evocative names such as Pofadder (Puffadder), Skerpioen (Scorpion), Soldaat (Soldier), T'Voetpad (Footpath), Treinspoor (Traintrack), Skurfberg (rugged mountains) and Kokerboom (Aloe tree).

This  2017  vintage  has  incredible  tension  and density and is  very  much  “locked in”.   The  firmness  of  the wine  suggests  that  it  is  a  great  keeper.   It  does  exhibit amazing  herbal,  spicy  and perfumed aromas  and there is  more  than  enough  fruit  - but  it  is  a  highly-strung  wine  that  needs  time.  The  tannins  are  fine,  powdery        and almost  silky  with  a  slightly  lower  acidity  and more  expanded palate  than  the  2014  and 2016.  The  wine is  super-tight  and requires  at  least  2  hours  decantating  if  opened prior  to  5  years  of  age  in  the  bottle. 

Vineyards:  Paardeberg  (2  vineyards),  Kasteelberg  (4  vineyards), Malmesbury  (1  vineyard),  Piquetberg  (1  vineyard).

Soils:  (Various)  Granite,  Slate,  Gravel & Sandstone  formations.

Vinification:  Hand sorting  of  individual berries  of  the  entire  production in  small “strawberry”  cases.  Fermentation  takes  place  spontaneously  in 3300  litre  open  concrete  fermenters  for  about  three  weeks  at  a temperature  of  24  °C  and is  then  followed by  a  post-fermentation maceration  of  another  three  weeks.  No  additions  are  made  to  the fermenting  wine.  Pressing  takes  place  in  a  traditional basket  press  and the wine  is  transferred to  the  barrel (5%  new)  for  malolactic  fermentation.

Ageing:  The  wine  spends  12  months  on  the  lees  in  tight-grain  French  oak barrels,  just  5%  of  them new.   The  wine  is  then  racked into  big  oval casks (foudres)  for  an  additional year  of  maturation  on  the  fine  lees.  After  a total of  two  years  the  wine  is  bottled without  fining  or  filtration. 

Notes:  This  2017  Columella  is  the  first  of  “the  drought  years”  to  be  bottled and this wine  stands  as  evidence  of  the  great  stability  to  be  achieved in  a  region  with  multiple varieties  and vineyards  planted in  diverse  sites.   It  shows  that  the  greatest  and most stable  quality  is  to  be  achieved by  a  selection  of  vineyards  rather  than  just  one.  The expression  of  a  singular  site  has  its  place,  but  there  is  simply  no  better  strategy  than the  combination  of  a  bigger  variety  of  terroirs  to  build up  the  most  stable representation  of  our  region.  

 

  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: 2017
  • ABV: 14%
  • Origin: Swartland/South Africa
  • Grapes:  Syrah/Mourvèdre/Grenache/Carignan/Cinsaut/Tinta  Barocca

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