A blend of Chenin Blanc from old bushvine parcels on three farms on the slopes of the Skurfberg (“rugged mountains”) between Clanwilliam and Lamberts Bay in the Olifants River Region. The vineyards are in immaculately farmed properties, which have not been subjected to herbicide or chemical fertilizers.
Most of the soils in the area are of decomposed sandstone, and very sandy. Rainfall is low, so these vines have had to be tough to survive without irrigation. Together the 3 low-yielding parcels represent the possibilities of the area, each contributing something unique to the complexity of the whole. One site has huge and aromatic fruit concentration; the second offers an earthy character and minerality, and the third (the highest, and closest to the Atlantic) retains amazing acidity and freshness. The three parcels of fruit were vinified separately. They were basket-pressed and then transferred directly to old casks where natural fermentation took place. They were blended after 12 months, then left them to age another six months before bottling directly from the old casks.
Eben Sadie is considered one of the great preservationists and visionaries in the new generation of South African winemakers. To Eben, the vineyard and fruit are part of the story—the truest expression of his art and philosophy. The wine writer Neal Martin recently called Sadie an “outspoken, peripatetic, terroir-obsessed winemaker who has been instrumental in putting Swartland on the map. He produces a small portfolio of comparatively expensive, but highly coveted wines based on Rhone varieties sourced from his seemingly never-ending search for pockets of old bush vines and unique terroirs. These are cerebral wines built to age.”