The Elandskloof ward outside Villiersdorp is perfect for the cultivation of Burgundian varieties. Already famous for Chardonnay, it is the quiet Pinot Noir revolution that excites us. This unique terroir is situated 700m above sea level and its continental climate allows for prefect winter dormancy – a must for Pinot Noir. Names like Crystallum Mabalel, JH Meyer Elandskloof and Thorne and Daughters Copper Pot are firmly establishing the potential of this appellation. Although the vineyards are still young, each vintage is better and more exciting than the last. These wines are typically aromatic with orange and spice on the nose following on to a fresh and ethereal palate.
A new Pinot from this appellation, capturing this site perfectly, is the 2016 Saurwein Nom Pinot Noir. The second vintage by our new Young Gunner Jessica Saurwein, her maiden 2015 wowed Neal Martin alongside the likes of La Tâche last year. Read Martin’s article here. Although sold out, the 2015 will be tasted at Young Guns ‘Back to Basics’ next week. Limited spaces in Johannesburg are still available.
The 2016 Nom Pinot Noir has a deeper structure than the 2015 which balances the brightness, ethereal perfume and vibrant palate; so typical of this terroir. It is pure-fruited with a savoury undertow which adds complexity and gravitas. Its fine acidity makes it an absolutely wonderful food wine. Ready to enjoy now but will reward cellaring up to 2024. Limited production – only 5 barrels produced.
For allocations of Crystallum Mabalel 2016 (pre-release orders now available) and Thorne and Daughters Copper Pot 2016 (limited availability) please email James@winecellar.co.za.
Saurwein, Nom Pinot Noir 2016
The Nom Pinot Noir 2016 from Jessica Saurwein is a step up on her maiden vintage 2015. From the same Kaaimansgat vineyard near Villiersdorp, it’s light but vivid in colour. On the nose, red fruit – currant and cherry – plus subtle vanilla. The palate is intensely flavoured but not weighty – focused and all of a piece. A good core of fruit, nice line of acidity and a lovely lattice work of tannins. Some white pepper on the finish adds interest. That much better realised than the maiden 2015. – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za 90/100
The 2016 Nom Pinot Noir has a not dissimilar bouquet to the 2015 with vivid red cherries and wild strawberry scents, perhaps demonstrating not quite the same level of intensity (but not far off). The palate is tight as you might expect with firm tannin, a little wilder than the 2015 perhaps with darker fruit towards the wild fennel-tinged finish. This has great potential, though it clearly requires another six months to really express itself. – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate 90/100