Category Archives: In the Press

Supply and long-term brand value help make a wine more desirable

How predictable is brand when it comes to determining wine quality? Put another way, should the better known brands readily submit their wines to the potentially more objective world of blind tasting?

Long-term brand value of Elgin Ridge 282 Sauvignon Blanc

 

The Jordan Cold Fact 2018 was pipped (admittedly only by a point) by the 2016 Elgin Ridge 282 – a less well-known wine, and therefore, given the pricing, under some pressure to over-deliver at the price point. This is exactly what it did: it’s a bigger, more muscular sort of sauvignon, and its aromatic profile reflects its appellation. There are notes of capsicum and blackcurrant leaf, whiffs of mown hay. It’s not showing any age, although the extra two years in bottle have helped the integration.

Decanter endorses Elgin Ridge’s Chaos White as the Elgin ‘Wine to Try’

Decanter endorses Elgin Ridge's Chaos WhiteThe September 2019 issue of leading international wine industry magazine, Decanter, takes readers into the world of the cool-climate Elgin Wine Valley. Authored by industry influencer, Christian Eedes, the feature is appropriately entitled ‘Elgin wine region: Names to know and wine to try’.

Included in the lineup is Elgin Ridge Wines’ certified organic and certified biodynamic Chaos White 2018, which scored an impressive 94 points, and tied for joint first place as his best white wine in Elgin.


“We’re excited by this international validation, as it speaks to hard work and passion we constantly strive for in producing organic and biodynamic wines at Elgin Ridge. Christian Eedes and Decanter’s endorsement reaffirms our team’s dedication to creating wines of excellence.”


A wine to savour

The Chaos White 2018, a blend of 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Semillon, as showcasing sweet pear, apricot and elderflower flavours, with nuances of dry hay around the edges. These flavours develop into fennel with a green tea and ginger undertone. The palate has a pithy edge, yet coated with an oily, multi-layered and textured mouthfeel. A wine not to be rushed, but rather savoured.

Enjoy on its own – served at approximately 15°C – or enjoy with fish, chicken and creamed based pasta dishes. Without a doubt a collector’s dream, the Chaos White 2018 is available directly from Elgin Ridge or select specialist outlets nationwide.

For more information contact Marion@elginridge.com

Marion & Brian

Elgin Ridge 282 Pinot Noir 2016 – so good with Roberta Muir’s traditional Coq au Vin

282 Pinot Noir produced by Elgin RidgeTo be a certified biodynamic wine producer is a long and arduous path to follow. Few in South African have done it, Elgin Ridge Wine Estate has. Owned by Brian and Marion Smith. In the cool [in terms of climate and fashion] and beautiful Elgin Valley. Breezes from the cool Atlantic ensure the right climate for Pinot Noir, ameliorating the summer heat and allowing for a long hang time to reach perfect ripeness. Brian and Marion, with their winemaker Kosie van der Merwe produce a small but exceeding fine range of wines.

Organic wine farm

Ever more popular in South Africa, Pinot Noir is a perfect reflection of the soils and climate in which it is grown and a fingerprint of each vintage. Being a certified Biodynamic and organic wine farm allows the winemaking team to produce excellent fruit which requires minimal intervention in the cellar. The only ingredient in this wine that is not from the vineyard, is the added 62 ppm total SO2 after natural malolactic fermentation.

I was keen to find out about the oak regime for the Elgin Ridge 282 Pinot Noir 2016, and Kosie gave me way more than I wanted. He made the wine from three different Pinot Noir clones. Here is what he said.

“The 282 Elgin Ridge Pinot Noir 2016 comes from 4 vineyards, consisting of 3 clones: 777, 667 and 115. The three clones were vinified separately.”


EXCERPT TAKEN FROM AN ARTICLE POSTED ON

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Elgin Ridge – one of 30 great New World wines, Peter Richards MW

We were delighted to be selected by Peter Richards MW, as one of the 30 great New World wines, in the February edition of the renowned Decanter magazine.  Peter says

“The London IT industry’s loss was Elgin’s gain when Marion and Brian Smith upped sticks and launched a biodynamic wine estate. This is a complex, spicy, highly original Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend with beautiful texture, huge energy and a delightfully funky edge.”

Peter  selected our Chaos White 2016 as one of his “30 great New World buys under £30” – chosen from over 1,000 potential candidates – which represent the “most intriguing, exciting and mould-breaking winemaking in the world today”!

To read the full article, see Decanter 

Our entry is below

Elgin Ridge - New World great wine by Peter Richards
Elgin Ridge White Chaos

 

Chaos by Elgin Ridge
Elgin Ridge Chaos 2016

Our Chaos 2016 release is sold out. If you would like to request an allocation for our 2017 release, please email Marion at Marion@elginridge.com

Pesticides banned in French Town

Interesting article from The Telegraph.co.uk

A small town surrounded by farms has become the first in France to ban the use of pesticides within 50 metres of homes as fears grow that they may be to blame for a rise in cancers and other illnesses.

The ban was introduced in Saint-Jean, near the southern city of Toulouse, after a long campaign by a doctor and deputy mayor, Gérard Bapt.

Read the full article, here

Fiona Beckett – getting to know South Africa

Fiona Beckett’s weekly Guardian article features Elgin Ridge Wines

Fiona Beckett Elgin Ridge

Fiona writes

Fiona Beckett writes, Imagine for a moment describing all French wine as “French wine”.  It wouldn’t begin to give you a sense of the diversity of what the country has to offer, or where to go for the best example of a particular type – Burgundy for chardonnay and pinot noir, for instance. Yet there’s still a tendency to refer to wines from “new world” countries as South African, Argentinian and Chilean, as if there were no regional differences.

Granted, at the most basic level there aren’t – wines will be sourced from whatever fruit is available at a particular price point – but spend a bit more on a bottle and you will be rewarded by the best of what the country has to offer. In South Africa, for example, it pays to be aware of which regions do what well: Constantia, Darling and Elgin are the key areas for sauvignon blanc, Hemel-en-Aarde for chardonnay and pinot, Stellenbosch for attractively supple, bordeaux-style reds, and the Swartland – South Africa’s “wild west” – for syrah and chenin blanc.

Elgin is, I think, currently the most exciting or, as one winemaker put it, “the coolest area in South Africa, and not just climate-wise”. To begin with, its sauvignons seemed like a crude attempt to ape the New Zealand style, with too much asparagus and green pea character. Now, though, producers are more self-confident, letting grapes ripen longer and picking later to get more complexity. Wines such as the organic Elgin Ridge 282 sauvignon blanc (£12.50, at www.winedirect.co.uk £12.99, 14% abv), which I ordered recently in a restaurant, have real elegance and finesse, and cost no more than a supermarket sancerre.

The best-known name in the region is Paul Cluver, who also makes a good, if slightly less refined sauvignon blanc under the Ferricrete label (£11.99, Marks & Spencer; 13.5% abv) and, in the same range, a pretty, floral, off-dry riesling (£12.99, M&S; 10.5% abv) which works particularly well with Asian-style salads and noodle dishes. (Marks & Sparks also has Cluver’s luscious, late-harvest riesling at £14.99.)

I also discovered a gorgeously creamy, burgundy-style chardonnay, the Kershaw Elgin Chardonnay 2012(14% abv), which is made by an English-born master of wine, Richard Kershaw – it’s a bargain at £18.99 if you’re a Naked Wines “angel”, £31.99 to the rest of us. Unusually for Naked Wines, it is worth the full amount, but I do find the talk of “wholesale” prices misleading – check on wine-searcher.com, as the wine may be cheaper elsewhere.

Fiona Beckett

To read more of Fiona’s articles go to

http://gu.com/p/3zjf4/tf 

 

Elgin Ridge Organic Wine by Jamie Goode

Brian Smith Elgin Ridge
Brian Smith

 

Had a great lunch at the Glass House, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they have their first Pinot Noir bottled. Plans are afoot to produce a Chardonnay-based MCC (sparkling wine), but this won’t be ready for a while.

It’s interesting that Brian and Marion have adopted biodynamics so enthusiastically, to the point that they are now certified fully. Marion has been the driver behind this: Brian says that initially he’d have been quite happy to spray chemicals everywhere, but now he has converted too. They now have a Percheron horse that he’s very proud of, as well as 11 cows and some sheep. ‘The Percheron is the most beautiful horse,’ says Brian. ‘It’s 16 1/2 hand, and weighs 1100 kg.’

organic sauvignon blanc
Elgin Ridge Sauvignon blanc

‘The tough thing is to get organic certification. Once you get this you are part of the way there,’ says Brian. ‘The soil on the farm was tested for chemicals to give the vines the best start.’ He adds, ‘when you think of all the horrible things farmers used to use, it’s a wonder that the land is living at all.’

Brian and Marion are gaining confidence. For example, with the Sauvignon, the 2012 is the first where they felt able to do 100% natural ferment. In the previous vintages they did the small tanks natural, and the large inoculated, for safety reasons. Now they leave the wine on lees until December (the harvest is early March). In 2012 Brian says he made 90% of the wine (with help from Niels Verberg); in 2013 he made 100%.

Elgin Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Elgin, South Africa

Lovely aromatics: expressive, bright, beautiful fruit – white peach, pear, citrus with subtle green notes. The palate is so well balanced with ripe fruit and lovely weight and precision. There’s real presence here, a proper Sauvignon [92/100] 

Brian says that he planted Pinot Noir because he’s ‘a red wine drinker trapped on a white wine farm.’ The 2012, first release, won’t be out for a while, but it’s looking very promising.

Elgin Ridge Organic Pinot Noir
Elgin Ridge Organic Pinot Noir

 Elgin Ridge Pinot Noir 2012 Elgin, South Africa

Natural ferment (done on the spur of the moment when the destemmed grapes were in the tank), 10 months in oak (20% new, the rest very old). This is South Africa’s only organic Pinot. There’s a bit of spice from the new oak but the dominant theme is the lovely pure, focused red cherry and berry fruit. Amazing finesse and purity. Still primary with potential for development [92/100]

Originally posted on Jamie Goode’s Wine blog