Sadie Family Wines - 2016 Signature Series and 2017 Old Vine Series
Arguably our most sort-after wines from South Africa and the Old Vine Series just seems to be getting better and better. The Signature Series cements Eben Sadie as an absolute superstar and he is making unquestionably some of the best wines in South Africa.
2016 Signature Series
Columella per bottle £64.99
Palladius per bottle £53.99
2017 Old Vine Series
Skurfberg per bottle £35.99
Skerpioen per bottle £35.99
Pofadder per bottle £35.99
Treinspoor per bottle £35.99
‘T Voetpad per bottle £41.99
Kokerboom per bottle £41.99 Sold Out
Soldaat per bottle £41.99
Eben really does say this way better than we could, so over to him….
Our Signature Red, the Columella, is aged for 1 year longer in cask and tank prior to bottling, thus being a 2016 vintage and a wine with immense promise. This Columella has a much deeper colour and concentration and is still very compact and in need of obvious ageing, but it is already showing great complexity in that the aromatics are not a singular line, but the coming together of many aspects. The aromas are a combination of bright fresh red fruits which then pass over to the riper black stone fruit. The wine is also very earthy and seems to live on a bed of freshly ploughed earth - and then there is the appearance of much darker graphite aromatics as well. The texture is still super compact and needs time: it is the result of 12 months ageing in barrels (8% new) and thereafter an additional 12 months in old, big oval casks. We bottle directly from the cask and the philosophy is to have minimum impact on the character of the grapes and rather just have the fruit express itself.
This 2016 vintage of Palladius has the simplicity of minimalistic design with nothing that shouts out and every one of the 11 varietals that drive this wine just seems to be imperfect synchronization. The aromas are a journey of more tropical, ripe fruit aspects going all the way to a very saline and mineral texture. The most exciting aspect of this 2016 vintage is simply the length and the persistence of the tannin on the palate. This wine spends its first year of ageing in clay amphorae and in concrete eggs and then an additional year of ageing of the final blend in big oak casks. The result is incredible stability and the wine leaves one with the clear impression that the Palladius is on the very same level as the Columella and they can truly run together as Signature.
OLD VINE SERIES
Skurfberg fruit came in fully ripe in 2017 and produced a very serious wine in the Chenin arena. The aromatics are very spicy, white pepper with some flinty tones that then cross over into again the stone fruit aromas of apples and pear skin. There is also a minerality that is running throughout the wine and not only on the aromatics, but it carries through to the palate. This wine needs a serious plate of food.
This vineyard has such a signature to it and without fail the salty saline and mineral DNA print of the site is everywhere to be found in this wine. The 2017 vintage also has some slightly riper honey blossom characteristics and the fruit is quite compressed - and a notion of the quince fruit can also be found in the aromatics. The finish on the wine is of great length. Fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
We picked the Cinsaut grapes in the Pofadder vineyard quite early and the result is a wine with an ultra-bright red fruit spectrum, almost like pomegranate seeds; and the fruit is very lifted in the glass. The tannins are still tight, steely - even crispy and granular, and the fruit is very much like the day we picked the grapes, therefore the wine still needs more time to develop in the bottle… or in the glass, where it develops some spicy aromatics when given the time to do so. Currently this 2017 presents itself as very-straight-down- the-line.
We had a very strong release in 2016 with this vineyard, but in our opinion the 2017 is even better and a big contender for being the wine of the vintage, simply in view of its overall complexity. The purity and the focus of the Tinta Barocca grape place it in many ways above more fashionable varieties in terms of ultra-quality wine. The general aromatics are still closed up and the wine needs time to unfold, but the general brightness of the fruit and some serious black stone fruit aromatics suggest that much more is to come from this wine - it is currently but revealing only a fraction of its true personality. The lower alcohol lifted tannin and acidity make for a very savoury finish and a wine that can truly age.
‘T Voetpad 2017
This is also a strong contender for wine-of-the-vintage for just being so complex from the word go. The aromatics start off in the quince and restrained aspects and then move over into bigger white stone fruit aspects. The Semillon component is prominent with a waxy lanolin dynamic, being much more apparent than in normal years. The wet straw helm characteristics normally present in ‘T Voetpad is also very prominent in this vintage. The wine is extremely well textured and has a very long finish and the most perfect equilibrium in the mouth feel.
In 2017 we also picked the Semillon Blanc and Gris earlier than our traditional picking dates and the wine in itself displays a much more compact structure; and the aromas start off being very spicy with ginger aspects and then grow and become more herbal. There are even some baked guava flavours that is compressed by waxy characteristics. It is for sure a fresher version of this vineyard in a bottle.
The 2017 vintage in the Olifantsrivier region was also a challenge, but the advantage is the altitude at which this vineyard grows which brings a bit of a reduction of moisture stress. This vintage is an exhibition of bright red fruit like almost under-ripe cherries and strawberry flavours with even aspects of plums picked early. The tannins are softer and more integrated at this early stage in comparison to those of other years and the wine is extremely approachable - all indications are that it will vaporize out of cellars from the word go.