The most anticipated release date of the year has finally arrived! As of the 31st July, the 2017 releases from Sadie Family Wines will be available on an allocation-only basis.
Sadie Family Wines are at the forefront of the South African wine revolution. A true visionary, Eben Sadie has identified the very best old vines across the Cape, revived them with natural farming and captured their essence using simple and traditional winemaking.
The 2016 vintage, although challenging, was handled very deftly by Eben Sadie and his assistant winemaker Paul Jordaan. The result is a truly unique set of wines. There is more flesh on the reds and more weight to the whites in general.
The 2015 Palladius is the second vintage to be completely unwooded with half raised in Amphorae and the other half in cement tanks. It is a very complex wine with loads of detail lurking and waiting to develop over time. The 2015 Columella is more polished and rich-fruited than the ’13 and ’14 and shows the class of the stellar 2015 vintage.
‘The 2016 vintage comes on the back of one of our driest seasons recorded in the last century and in the cellar it came down to incredible stress and the management thereof; and the ability to move at fast to supersonic speed at times to get the fruit picked at the last moment, without getting to over-ripeness. At the time of harvest, we were not all too positive about the vintage, but it turned out 200% above expectations and the result is humbly and gratefully accepted.’ – Eben Sadie
Besides their astonishing character, balance and purity, these profound wines still offer exceptional value for money. The drought conditions however have reduced the crop and production by as much as 30 – 40%, leaving even less wine to sell.
Please email James@winecellar.co.za to request your allocation.
Columella 2015 – R 795
The 2015 Columella is in many ways the coming together of an array of elements and a strong expression of our quest to produce a wine that will be as true to the region as possible, rather than one that expresses personal preferences. This wine is a bit more inverted and austere and deeply earthed; and it speaks more of this place. The wine is “grounded” and it is only after a while in the glass that the perfume flavours with an underlying dark graphite edge start to take over the initial, very earthy flavours. The tannins of the wine are tightly coiled up and the wine honestly just needs time and patience. Columella 2015 has a very good overall equilibrium and good acidity. From the 2010 harvest onwards the Columella wines need more time in their youth, or else decantation for at least 2 hours if opened prior to 5 years of age. – Eben Sadie
‘Like last year, the Columella is a blend of mainly Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre with the remainder being Cinsaut, Tinta Barocca and Carignan. The wine was charming and Eben remarked that it was the most accessible the 2015 had been so far. Florals and some darker fruit follow on to a palate brimming with confidence and composure. The power and deep fruit of the 2015 vintage are evident on both the nose and the structured, yet polished palate. A remarkable wine that will give earlier drinking pleasure than the ‘13 and ’14 but it’s a classic destined to be long-lived and will evolve slowly over the next few decades. This is a collectible.‘ – James Pietersen
Palladius 2015 – R 655
This is the first vintage we released from the newly built Palladius fermentation cellar and is only made up from the components in the clay amphorae and the six concrete eggs. The major goal is to try and get the maximum volume of compact fruit and texture together with the best potential volume of acidity and freshness. Compared to many white wines, the Palladius is more phenolic and textured and best enjoyed with food. From the outset the 2015 just beamed complexity and the wine travels from very mineral and salty aromas to more of your bigger peach skin stone fruit aromas and finally tapers off into a cordial lime and quince edge. The fruit never shows any real aspects of full ripeness even though the grapes were picked at full ripeness. The ageing just preserves more of the fresher aspects and the wine finishes razor sharp on the palate. Age this wine, please. We know it is a white, but age it! – Eben Sadie
‘A blend of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Sémillon, Sémillon Gris, Viognier, Clairette Blanche, Roussane, Verdelho, Colombard and Palomino! From the shining 2015 vintage, this wine begs to be to aged and is possibly the most complex and cerebral Palladius yet. Extremely complex with a combination of blossom, lime, fynbos, peaches and sea breeze that push and pull at each other. Only time will resolve these layers and what a discovery awaits!‘ – James Pietersen
In this vintage the drought caused the fruit to ripen slightly more than usual and this is the first bottling of the Soldaat that reached more than 13.2% alcohol and finally finished with 13.7%. So, at about half a degree of alcohol more, the wine displays slightly deeper flavours as opposed to just the beaming red fruit it normally does. The wine is also much more earthy and has an overall savoury balance. The bright red fruit and transparency of the wine are still all there. The overall feeling is that of just more ‘wine’… and that’s about it! – Eben Sadie
‘Piekenierskloof Grenache Noir planted at 708m in the 1970s. The extra 1 degree of alcohol brings us a richer, fuller and more ‘grown-up’ wine than previous vintages. The tannins are excellent with good length and a remarkable freshness. The stylistic shift in weight is better suited to the seriousness of the wine.‘ – James Pietersen
Cinsaut has a very thin skin and is prone to sunburn, so we opted to pick slightly earlier and ended up picking this vintage very “fresh” on a first impression, but the resulting wine still ended up with 13.5% alcohol and did gain the needed volume and mid-palate weight. The wine is very bright and has super red fruit and a linear, very strict character – almost like being on a tightrope – and then it just follows through with amazing texture and firm tannins. We are grateful for this wine and its expression; and unfortunately there is just very little available this vintage. – Eben Sadie
‘100% Cinsaut from the western side of the Kasteelberg in the Swartland. Made from 50-year-old vines. Eben believes Cinsaut is South Africa’s best red grape variety. Elegant in style, with Pinot Noir like tannins, it’s firm but silky and has a fresh, vibrant acidity. Very much a palate-driven wine with shy perfume notes on the nose. Drink in 5 to 10 years’ time.‘ – James Pietersen
Tinta Barocca is the grape with the official passport for being a resident of the Swartland: it has been here for a long time and will remain, since it has an amazing ability to capture the Swartland terroir. Unlike some of the other varieties that enjoy greater familiarity in terms of South African wine preferences, it is a bit of an outsider…. which it really should not be. It is always a deeper wine with much more time required in ageing. This vintage is dark, black graphitic with anise and just massive earthy notes like freshly ploughed earth. It then trickles into the fruit aromas, but is austere from the outset and needs time in the glass. The tannins, as always, are firm and at 13.2 % alcohol it is just like a person who seems to be a lightweight, but who has a massive punch! Please age or decant. – Eben Sadie
‘Made from 46-year-old Tinta Barocca grown west of Malmesbury. Every version of this wine is more harmonious than the last. Of the red wines, this is the one most like the previous vintages with the same deep, grippy tannins demanding time in the glass and in the bottle. Possibly the longest living of the Old Vine reds. Drink in 5 – 15 years’ time and beyond.‘ – James Pietersen
Mev. Kirsten 2016
The 2016 vintage was the second proper crop we have had in about 10 years and the volume of the canopy growth of the vines, and basically everything else, is starting to get into true balance – a balance that is carried through to the wine… what a great feeling! This is Chenin Blanc in its older school of expression and more eccentric of nature. In this vintage the more tropical and big ripe stone fruit and secondary aromas rise to the foreground, but at relatively lower ripeness in alcohol. That, combined with a very fresh and retained acidity, makes for a savoury finish and amazing length and tannin. – Eben Sadie
‘This revived Chenin block at the foot of Botmanskop was planted in 1920. It is SA’s oldest Chenin Blanc block. Pure fruited with ripe pear and citrus spritz leading to a focused and linear palate that shines with grandeur and class. We feel that this is on par with the incredible 2014 and 2015, comfortably among the greatest of SA whites.‘ – James Pietersen
The 2016 Skerpioen came in slightly riper than in previous years, mainly on account of the drought and less soil moisture, but for some mystical reason the wine still retained very good levels of acidity. In some ways the same mineral and salty aromas are very pronounced and the wine finishes with a clear, flinty edge. – Eben Sadie
‘70+-year-old Chenin Blanc blended with Palomino from Dwarskerbos and Elands Bay. Picked early before the heat wave in January. The nose is backward yet generous and the promise of richness follows on to an exceptionally pure and chiseled structure. Florals and stone fruit combine with nougat and a salty, chalky finish that lingers on and on. Stunning wine that should easily last 10 – 15 years. One of the most balanced SA whites we have ever tasted.‘ – James Pietersen
This is possibly, to date, one of the vintages which showed the greatest equilibrium from the outset: from the completion of fermentation to being bottled. The vineyard displays its usual stone fruit aromas; and again a minerality and granular tannins with a line of acidity that just bind everything together. We are confident that this Skurfberg will age well and we do suggest decanting during the first 5 years. – Eben Sadie
‘100% Chenin Blanc planted in the 1950s on the Skurfberg mountains in the Olifants River region. From 3 different vineyards this is possibly SA’s finest vineyard. The 2016 is a little weightier than before with attractive stone fruit aromas laced with lemongrass and leading on to a fine acidity and saline detail so typically found on wines from this incredible terroir. Deservedly regarded as one of the finest white wines in the world.‘ – James Pietersen
The Voetpad always surprises us with its overall balance and this vintage is no exception: even though it is a co-planted vineyard with so many different grapes and one would expect some edges, the growing-together-for-a-century probably evens out all edges of difference. This vintage has the associated flavours of straw bales, lanolin and anise aromatics alongside some very ripe peach flavours. The palate is extremely strict in terms of the defining tannins being quite affirmative at this stage, but is still balanced with a savoury finish. A whole world is to be found in this wine. – Eben Sadie
‘A field-blend on the north-west side of the Piquetberg mountains first planted in 1887, making it SA’s oldest vineyard. Sémillon is the star of the show, blended with Sémillion Gris, Palomino, Muscat and Chenin Blanc. A complex mélange of yellow stone-fruit, lanolin and lemon/lime peel. The fully concentrated and charged palate exhilarates with layer upon layer coaxed from the glass. This is an enthralling wine that has a deft tannin grip that goes on and on. Possibly better than the near-perfect 2015.‘ – James Pietersen
This is the most difficult parcel of vines to capture with perfect ripeness in any year. The Sémillon in the Clanwilliam region sometimes ripens with a 1% raise in alcohol per day and the reality is that this parcel requires to be picked at full ripeness to truly exhibit its character. In 2016 the wine did manage to get to full ripeness and it now exhibits green beans and traditional waxy Sémillon flavours with some flinty undertones. Kokerboom 2016 is fully textured and has massive volume and beaming, fresh acidity on the palate. This wine seriously needs decantation in the first 5 or so years after release. – Eben Sadie
‘Sémillion Blanc and Sémillon Gris from Trekpoort Kloof in the Olifants River region. The 90-year-old vineyards are in pristine condition. Staggering and colossal on the palate. This is a white wine with almost a red wine gravitas, such is the texture and flavour that you first encounter. A wine that needs at least 3 – 5 years before broaching but will last for decades. It has the highest alcohol of the old vines but, in perfect balance, it only adds to the power of the wine.‘ – James Pietersen