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?
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.
The 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.
To 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.”
Join us during the Elgin Cool Wine & Country Food Festivalthis year and enjoy free tastings, delicious sushi, exclusive farm tours ( pre booking essential ), and great family fun on our organic & biodynamic farm.
• 3 vintages of our current wines (either Sauvignon Blanc and/or Pinot Noir)
GOLDEN TICKET EXPERIENCE: FARM TOUR
• This experience is available when pre-booked by Golden Ticket holders.
• Take a walking tour on our certified biodynamic farm with us, as we explain our biodynamic preparations and how we use them at Elgin Ridge – and finish with a VIP tasting of older vintages and an exclusive tasting our award-winning Chaos White
• Places are strictly limited to just 6 people per session: Morning session at 11.00am and afternoon session at 14.00pm
( Saturday morning seesion fully booked, 2 places available Saturday afternoon), Sunday still available
• Enjoy a delicious sushi platter (minimum 10 pieces) and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for R160 per person
• Enjoy being on our biodynamic and organic wine estate and catch a glimpse of our Percheron horse – Maddox – who ploughs our vineyards in winter. Keep an eye out for our sheep, cattle, ducks and chickens, too
• Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic and enjoy a bottle of Elgin Ridge wine amongst the vines or around the dam in one of our picnic spots.
Bookings for our Golden Ticket Farm Tour and sushi are essential.