2016 Sadie Family Wines, Chenin Blanc/Palomino “Skerpioen” Old Vine Series, Swartland, South Africa.
A gorgeous white old vine field blend of Chenin Blanc and Palomino (the Sherry grape!) from Eben Sadie of Sadie Family Wines, probably the most exciting winemaker in South Africa right now, and who is getting lots of well deserve press, this was my first experience with his white(s), but I’ve been a huge fan of his reds, like Eben’s Columella (Syrah & Mourvedre), which are mind blowing in a way that remind you of old school Chateau Rayas, Chapoutier Le Meal Hermitage or pre 1995 Beaucastel without the Brettanomyces! Grown on extremely chalky Swartland soils at one of the coolest sites in the region which gives it’s driving acidity and mineral charms, seriously this natural/traditional white has the presence of a Grand Cru Chablis (meets Breze Saumur) in the glass, these bush vine, dry farmed, organic, were planted between 1958 and 1967 and the concentration and intensity shines here! This Paardeberg winery’s small handcrafted Skerpioen is glorious and vividly flavored with a tight vein of bright citrus, white peach and unripe green apple fruit, flinty/stony wet rock, steely dynamic elements along with unsweetened honeycomb/wax, lemon oil, delicate spices and bitter melon notes. Words fail here to explain the underlying energy, force and beauty that comes through on the briskly dry palate, this is stunning stuff, wow, this white has the x factor and then some, and it’s pale golden hue glistens with a sexy glow, it’s racy and classic in a way that makes the mouth water and get your salvation glands rocking, though it does fill out texturally on the palate in a very seductive way. Imported by Broadbent Selections, Sadie Family Wines are not cheap, but worth every penny, Raveneau and Joly fans both will be muttering to themselves when they try this stuff! Of the world’s great white blends, Mas de Daumas Blanc, Luis Rodriguez Ribeiro, Randall Grahm’s Le Cigare Blanc Reserve and Sadie Family standout this year! Best to allow a few more years on this Sadie Chenin led Skerpioen white, best from 2020-2036.
($50 Est.) 94-96 Points, grapelive