Renowned UK wine consultant Steven Spurrier declared himself “basically against” natural wine while out here to judge the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. “Almost all don’t look very good and some don’t taste very good,” he said. “Manipulation by hyper-technology is massively expensive and many regions have never bothered with it so why insist on making ‘natural’ wine?”
To which I would retort: Why not? Elemental Bob is the own label of Spookfontein winemaker Craig Sheard and his My4play 2013 is an Upper Hemel en Aarde blend of 51% Pinot Blanc, 22% Semillon, 19% Roussanne and 8% Chenin Blanc, fermentation occurring spontaneously and skin contact lasting five days.
Initially the nose shows apricot and typical oxidative notes but with time in the glass, a pretty floral quality begins to emerge. The palate is concentrated and thick textured, tangy acidity lending balance. It’s difficult to wrap your head around but somehow keeps drawing you back to the glass. Approximate retail price: R140 a bottle.