“Topography” is a new label from Swartland winemaking team David and Nadia Sadie intended to “absorb” grapes either from old vineyards in danger of being uprooted and lost forever or from young vineyards that otherwise wouldn’t have been planted. The intention is to put wines on the market at under R100 a bottle ensuring a modicum of viability for the growers involved but not distracting too much from their premium offerings. “We have limited cellar space and time to save the Swartland, but we do our outmost best in our small little way, growing as fast and ambitiously possible,” says David.
The first release is a Chenin Blanc 2017, incorporating, in part, grapes from a vineyard near Riebeek Kasteel originally planted by Nadia’s great grandfather in 1962 – it was farmed for mass production until recently and will take a while until it is in the state that the Sadies would like it to be but they’ve committed to using it for a wine in their portfolio rather than seeing it end up in bulk.
Winemaking involves eight months maturation in barrel and foudre plus 10% in stainless tank – pretty much the same as for the rest of their wines, just a touch shorter on the lees. The nose is quite shy although subtle notes of naartjie, white peach, yellow earth and dried herbs can be detected. The palate has a real vinosity about it – creamy in texture with moderate acidity and a gently savoury finish. Not super-detailed but substantial and satisfying, it’s hard to imagine how much more you’d want from a wine selling for R95 a bottle from Wine Cellar. Alc: 13%. Total production: 10 000 bottles.
Editor’s rating: 90/100.
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