Palladius 2016, the white blend from Swartland cellar Sadie Family Wines, seems hard-wrought perhaps on account of the drought that had now set in, but still a riveting wine. A blend of Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Semillon, Semillon Gris, Viognier, Clairette Blanche, Roussanne, Verdelho, Colombard and Palomino, it spends a year in clay amphorae and concrete eggs and then another year in oak casks.
A hugely complex and compelling nose with top notes of potpourri and hay before lemon, naartjie, orange, peach, talcum powder, yellow earth and spice. The palate is super-concentrated with driving, quite hard acidity while there is a little phenolic tug on the finish. Currently, it’s amazingly well defined but not exactly charming – you need to be prepared to wait a good few years to get the best out of this. Wine Cellar price: R755 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 95/100.