The Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2017 has received a Platter’s 5-star and was rated the best Sauv-Sém blend in SA. Although not directly comparable to Bordeaux, when you look at the scores and prices below,…

The Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2017 has received a Platter’s 5-star and was rated the best Sauv-Sém blend in SA. Although not directly comparable to Bordeaux, when you look at the scores and prices below, the Isliedh is a clear example of SA fine wine being under-priced. It’s a must-buy as one of our greatest whites that will easily age for a decade.

   Wine   Price Neal Martin Tim Atkin Average
  Cape Point Vineyards, Isliedh 2017   R275 93 96 94.5
  Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2017   R1,635 93-95 86-88 90.5
  Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2017   R2,050 92-94 91-93 92.5

 

* Bordeaux en-primeur prices inclusive of VAT. Available on request.

Riandri Visser’s first standalone vintage is a cracker. The Cape Point Isliedh is a benchmark South African white and the 2017 is one of the finest to date. Buchu, spice, florals and good fruit concentration are underpinned by a fine acidity with a saline, lingering finish. A greater degree of Sémillon adds gravitas to the 2017; similar to the best ageing vintages of the past.

It is released alongside the impressive 2017 Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. Produced from a unique and marginal terroir, the Isliedh and Sauvignon Blanc Reserve are from vineyards exposed to the salty spray of the Atlantic Ocean. The two wines are made to offer a clear distinction between the blended style and what Sauvignon Blanc has to offer on its own. These great wines, from one of our greatest white vintages to date, are still under-priced we think.

Tasting notes:

Cape Point Vineyards, Isliedh 2017 
Right up there with the best ever releases of Isliedh, this is a stunning rendition of this white Bordeaux blend, combining Sauvignon Blanc with 24% Sémillon. Pale in colour, but not in aroma or flavour, it’s a lightly wooded style with subtle toast, notes of fresh herbs and salty, mouth-watering acidity. Drink 2019-2026. – Tim Atkin MW, 96/100

Richly textured yet almost ethereally fresh 2017 blends barrel-fermented Sauvignon and 23% Sémillon vinified in clay amphoras, 10 months on lees, resulting in many layers of flavour: white peach, citrus, vanilla, subtle honey and baking spice, all remarkably poised and ageworthy. – Platter’s Guide 2019, 5* (95/100)

The Sauvignon Blanc was fermented in 600-litre barrels, 40% new while the Sémillon was fermented in clay amphorae before being transferred into old 600-litre barrels. Components were kept separate for 10 months before being taken to tank for a further five months. A subtle and enticing nose showing fynbos, citrus, white peach, apple and spice. The palate has great depth of fruit and tangy acidity before a long and salty finish. Great presence and intensity of flavour. – Winemag.co.za, Aerobotics Sauv-Sém Report, 94/100

The 2017 Isliedh saw the Sémillon increased to 23% as part of Cape Point’s affirming this as a blend, as opposed to the Noordhoek, which is essentially pure Sauvignon Blanc. It is fermented and aged in 600-liter French oak, of which is 30% new, for 10 months. The Sémillon is fermented in amphora before transferring into barrel (see introduction). Scents of lanolin from the Sémillon infuse the Granny Smith apple and light pear aromas on the lovely bouquet. The palate is very well balanced with a little more amplitude compared to the 2016 – quite spicy on the front of the mouth, the back laden with pear, gooseberry and touch of stem ginger that lingers long on the finish. I think the increased Sémillon component really works well here and engenders a more interesting and cerebral wine. – Neal Martin, 93/100

Cape Point Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2017 
There’s only 5% Sémillon in the blend here, but it definitely adds another dimension to this superb Sauvignon Blanc. Scented oak, floral and white pepper top notes and focused, sea breeze and oyster shell notes with a core of crunchy, zesty fruit. Drink: 2019-2024. – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100

 

Leave a Reply