Vineyard plantings in the district of Elgin stand at 850ha down from 1 000ha two or three years ago, according to Boschendal viticulturist Stephan Joubert. Why has this happened? Apples are fetching far more per hectare than wine grapes and farmers are reacting accordingly.
Even so, the Boschendal team is convinced of Elgin’s potential as source of high-quality grapes and has just released three wines specific to this appellation. “If you’re operating in Elgin you need to be making top-end wines or leave the market,” says Joubert. The range consists of a Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Chardonnay 2012 and Pinot Noir 2011, each selling for R195 a bottle.
Boschendal Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Very expressive with notes of yellow peach, granadilla and even red apple (Pink Lady rather than Golden Delicious, insists winemaker Lizelle Gerber). Rich and thick textured balanced by tangy acidity. Has real interest.
Boschendal Elgin Chardonnay 2012
12 months in oak, 20% new. Big and bold with lemon, honey and a yeasty note about it. Great flavour intensity and bright acidity but perhaps lacking a little nuance.
Boschendal Elgin Pinot Noir 2012
12 months in oak, 25% new. Prominent vanilla but also some red cherry on the nose and palate. Broad, somewhat lacking in fruit concentration and the acidity rather soft.