Jessica Saurwein is not necessarily a household name that is synonymous with premium wines in South Africa. While she has been producing deliciously seductive red wines for over four years, it is only now that international trade and buyers are standing up and taking serious notice of this newcomer.
Trying to avoid cliches, Jessica has almost single handedly managed to source and produce some of the most incredibly elegant, pure and feminine styled Pinot Noir wines quite unlike anything that has been made in South Africa before. Her maiden vintages of Nom Pinot Noir opened eyes and occupied the chattering wine trade for endless months. But in the truest sense of Burgundian subtlety, Jessica has just released another fabulous Pinot Noir expression from grapes grown on the Domaine des Dieux farm in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge ward in Walker Bay near Hermanus.
Jessica with another of her prestigious wines… her white Chi Riesling.
In this higher altitude terroir, the soils are granitic with a significant portion of clay. The vineyard was established in 2006 with Pinot noir clones 115 and 667. The 2018 was a dry vintage in the Cape, leading to tiny grapes and wines with a high grape to juice ratio and a lean, energetic style with a superb fresh acidity and super fine tannins.
In Jessica’s words, “the new Om Cuvee symbolises the concept of universal creation. This word is also synonymous with peace. The vineyards are situated in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge region (Heaven and Earth), a beautiful and peaceful place very close to my heart.”
Saurwein Om 2018, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, Walker Bay, 13.5 Abv.
With a most brilliant translucent ruby cherry red colour, the seduction starts long before one even tastes this wine. Fabulously perfumed and lofty, the aromatics convey the very best nervy components of a cool climate South African Pinot Noir with sappy crushed rose petals, tart bright cranberry, red cherry, sour red plum and crunchy strawberries immersed in cookie dough ice cream. The palate is sensual and sleek, sublimely elegant and pure with intensity, electric freshness and laser bright crystalline strawberry confit length. But you’d be wrong to think this is just another cool climate Pinot Noir. It’s sophistication, balance, finesse and sensual harmony place this incredibly beautiful wine on a pedestal of Pinot Noir grandeur. Classy in every sense of the word. I’m smitten! The ultimate “less is more” kind of wine!
(Wine Safari Score: 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)