Another Sutherland Vineyards Stunner – Tasting their 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Release…

It’s when you taste wines like this that you realise that Elgin can do no wrong. Whether Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah or Petit Verdot, this little cool climate pocket is just simply a viticultural garden of Eden. Unfortunately for the grape vines, this cool microclimate oasis also produces some of the most incredibly high-quality apples that I have tasted from anywhere in the world, making vineyards compete for space and economics.

If vitis vinifera is going to fight back, it is going to be with wines like this Sutherland Cabernet Sauvignon that hearts and minds will be converted. Grown on classic Tukulu-Glenrosa soils, these 12-year-old vines seem to be in a very happy stage of development yielding 9.7 tons per hectare. The fruit was destemmed, hand sorted and fermented in stainless steel tanks with a pump over one a day. After fermentation, the wine was racked into 30% new French oak barrels and aged for 18 months before bottling.

Sutherland Cab Sauvignon 2017, WO Elgin, 13.98% Abv.

2.1 g/l RS | 3.56 pH | 5.3 g/l TA

Elgin always seems capable of producing some of the most beguiling expressions of wine whether made from Pinot Noir, Syrah, Petit Verdot or Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromatics of this beauty show a nuanced complexity of pressed violets, sweet black tea, saline black currant, sweet herbs, wet tobacco and subtle hints of black cherry preserve. True to the vintage, the palate is fabulously elegant with silky tannins, a fine-grained crushed stone minerality, a weightless intensity and a long, cool, fresh finish that is simply mouth-watering, all delivered in such an effortless style. This is surely one of the most enjoyable Cabernet Sauvignon reds you will experience from the 2017 vintage. Drink now and over the next 10 to 12+ years.

(Wine Safari Score: 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

Another Cooler Climate Wonderland – Tasting the Sophisticated Sutherland Reserve Chardonnay 2016…

The Sutherland Reserve Range consists of three premium wines, a Reserve Grenache and a Reserve Petit Verdot, both cultivars not normally associated with Elgin, as well as the Reserve Chardonnay, a variety for which this region has become known as one of South Africa’s leading areas.

“Selecting the Chardonnay for the Reserve Range was a bit of a no-brainer. The cool climate, Tukulu soils and the proximity to the ocean that lies nine kilometres away makes for about as ideal a South African Chardonnay site as one could wish for,” says Gyles Webb.

The grapes for the Sutherland Reserve Range are hand-picked in Elgin and transported to the Thelema winery in Banhoek, Stellenbosch for vinification.

Sutherland Elgin Reserve Chardonnay 2016, 13 Abv.

Aged for 10 months in French oak, there is a mouth wateringly complex bouquet of spicy macerated lemons, boxwood, sweet bergamot zest, brioche and crushed gravel with high toned notes of lime peel and citrus blossom. The palate is super linear and taut with a pronounced steely acidity and serious verve and vigour. A supremely Old World proportioned wine that has masses of classical cool climate restraint and complex nuances of flinty struck match reduction that intermingle with lemon grass, dried thyme and sour green apple bon bons on a racy mineral finish. This is a wonderfully impressive Reserve Chardonnay from Elgin that will appeal to drinkers looking for a more sophisticated, restrained expression of Chardonnay. Drink now or cellar for 3 to 5+ years.

(Wine Safari Score: 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)