The 2019 Nom is the 5th vintage from Young-Gun winemaker and marketeer Jessica Saurwein. The small-batch, naturally-made Pinot Noirs from special pockets in the Cape have gained a cult following and her 2019s are her finest yet. ‘2019 has what great Pinot Noirs are made of – energy and harmony!’ says Jessica.
‘One of the most refined and floral Pinots I have tasted from South Africa,’ wrote Matthew Jukes on the 2018 Nom, which was one of the highest-scoring 2018 SA Pinot Noirs (93 NM, 94 TA and 95 JG). The 2019 is a terrific follow-up. It’s slightly lighter, sleeker and more delicately perfumed. Sourced from the Elandskloof ward outside Villiersdorp, this unique terroir lies 700m above sea level and its continental climate allows for perfect winter dormancy. This is consistently one of SA’s most sensuous and delicious Pinots and, as Neal Martin says, it is ‘produced in limited quantity but worth the hunt‘.
The 2019 Om Pinot Noir is a knockout; richer, deeper and more serious than the maiden 2018 (92 NM, 91 TA and 94 GS). ‘Om is a symbol of universal creation and peace and is sourced from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge,’ comments Jessica, going on to say that this cooler, racier style ‘offers a lot more acidity and tannin that profits from some more time in bottle‘. Like the 2019 Nom, this too is limited.
We also have a small allocation of the 2019 Chi Riesling available. ‘Possibly the best South African Riesling I have tasted,’ writes Jancis Robinson, it is 12% alcohol and slightly off-dry with a racy, citrus twist. It’s a ‘must-have’ for lovers of Germanic-style Rieslings.
Saurwein, Nom Pinot Noir 2019
2019 was another dry vintage in the Cape, leading to tiny grapes and wines with a high grape to juice ratio. Grapes are hand-picked, hand-sorted, grapes are cold-soaked, fermentation is spontaneous, post-fermentation maceration is complete when the tannins are optimal, minimum of 10 months in 228L French oak barrels (new and older). On the nose: red and black cherry, rose hip, earthy savoury aromatics, cocoa, typical and unique orange rind character imparted by the vineyard site. On the palate: red and black cherry fruit, hibiscus, umami, roasted chestnuts, velvety tannins, balanced acidity. – Jessica Saurwein, Winemaker
Saurwein, Om Pinot Noir 2019
2019 was another dry vintage in the Cape, leading to tiny grapes and wines with a high grape to juice ratio. Grapes are hand-picked, hand-sorted, grapes are cold-soaked, fermentation is spontaneous, post-fermentation maceration is complete when the tannins are optimal, minimum of 10 months in 228L French oak barrels (new and older). On the nose: red forest berry and bramble berry fruit, red cherries, rose perfume, fragrant sumac and cumin spice. On the palate: red forest fruit, beetroot earthiness, fresh hibiscus, fruit-coated tannin and crisp acidity, medium-bodied. – Jessica Saurwein, Winemaker
Saurwein, Chi Riesling 2019
Cuts right through the palate – very brisk and precise. Very edgy and super-refreshing. Very bright fruit indeed and a dry impression. Still a little chewy but it should age well. Possibly the best South African Riesling I have tasted. 12% Drink 2019-2024. – Jancis Robinson MW, 16.5/20
The 2019 Chi Riesling is sourced from Elgin. The bouquet is immediately appealing, offering lovely scents of orange blossom and quince jus, with none of the petrolly aroma that you often find in South African Riesling. The palate is effervescent on the entry and conveys a genuine sense of energy and tension. Citrus lemon mixes with orange zest and hints of elderflower, and the precise, persistent finish is pure joy. Irresistible in its youth, but I am just as intrigued to see how this might age. Drink 2020-2030. – Neal Martin, 91/100