After a two year absence from the Cape, I promised myself that I’d do a little West Coast road trip when I next visited the winelands. With a lot of help from Ian Naudé, this trip came to fruition in March 2022, beginning by collecting Sakkie Mouton in Malmesbury before heading up the coast. We stopped for an incredible Wes Kus lunch at the Wolfgat restaurant and this is where I first tasted Sakkie’s 2021 Full On Misfit as well as a recently bottled Crayfish 2021.
As both bottles were consumed with the incredible Wolfgat tasting menu, I obviously had a pretty good idea what I was in for when Sakkie sent me a finished, labelled and waxed bottle of the Revenge of the Crayfish 2021 to reassess in the more neutral surrounds of London.
The vineyards for the Crayfish Chenin Blanc are located on well-drained sandy soils, about five kilometres from the cold Atlantic ocean, which receive a constant cooling effect from the sea that moderates the temperatures in this warm coastal region.
Grapes were hand harvested early in the morning, then taken to the cold room and cooled down for one night. This was done before being whole bunch pressed in an old basket press, followed by settling for twelve hours without any addition of enzymes except for a little Sulphur. The clear juice was then racked off and taken to 3rd and 4th fill 228L and 400L barrels as well as a batch fermented in stainless steel. Natural fermentation ensued for four weeks. After fermentation was completed the lees was regularly stirred once a week for eight months. Post fermentation carried out over a period of eight months on the gross lees before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Sakkie Mouton Family Wines Revenge of the Crayfish Chenin Blanc 2021, WO Koekenaap, 12.93% Abv.
1.1 g/l RS | 7.5 g/l TA | 3.11 pH
The refinement of this 2021 Chenin Blanc must surely represent a seminal moment in the evolution of the Crayfish Blanc. All the tell tale signs of the ‘Wes Kus’ are evident on the nose with multiple waves of maritime sea breeze, kelp on the beach and rock salt that combine with distinctly savoury, leesy biscuit nuances, waxy Granny Smith apples, yellow grapefruit citrus and wet stone mineral complexity. The beautiful palate shows noticeably extra textural depth and breadth compared to earlier vintages but also incredible intensity and piercing fruit concentration. There are notes of white citrus, tangerine peel, tart green apples, tangy lemon cordial and subtle notes of fresh litchi juice dusted with rock salt, dried fynbos herbs and nori seaweed. Fabulous precision and focus combine to make this one hell of a wine that finishes with deliciously tangy lemony acids and a pronounced saline white citrus fruit persistency. This is next level Chenin Blanc in my book that celebrates its own unique sense of place together with a maturing winemaking know-how. Simply stunning. Undoubtedly Sakkie’s best yet. Drink from release and over the next 10 to 15+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW)