The Buys family acquired Vrede en Lust in the warm-climate Simonsberg-Paarl ward in 1996 and acknowledging that white wines of great finesse were going to be difficult if not impossible from here, bought Casey’s Ridge in cool-climate Elgin in 2005.
Formerly an apple farm, the property now has 54ha of vineyard planted – white varieties consisting mainly of Sauvignon Blanc but also Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Semillon and Viognier.
Yesterday a tasting of all 10 white wines in the Vrede en Lust portfolio (all from Elgin bar the Viognier 2012 which includes a portion of Paarl fruit and the Marguerite 2012 from Chardonnay grown in Paarl) and the stand-out wines for me were the following:
Vrede en Lust Casey’s Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Includes 10% Semillon. Attractive floral fragrance on the nose while the palate shows white peach initially before a little pyrazine bite on the finish. Rich and full but not short of verve. A compelling version of modern SA Sauvignon Blanc.
Vrede en Lust Barrique 2012
64% Semillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented and matured in a combination of 225-litre and 500-litre French oak, mostly second- and third-fill. Elderflower, blackcurrant and lime plus some not unattractive oak-derived character. Rich and full balanced by zesty acidity. Good length. Should only improve over the next three years or so.
Interestingly, no bottling of a single-variety Chardonnay from Elgin as most of the grapes get sold to Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons for Baroness Nadine…