After a recent review of Vrede en Lust Artisan Range CCV 2010, an invitation from Dana Buys to visit the property in Elgin which supplied the fruit. Previously involved in the information technology industry, Buys acquired Vrede en Lust in the Simonsberg-Paarl ward in 1996 and Casey’s Ridge in the southwest of Elgin was purchased in 2005.
An apple farm before, it’s characterised by a range of different soil types and aspects. 54ha of vineyard have now been planted, mainly Sauvignon Blanc but other whites including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Semillon and Viognier and reds including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Many of the blocks are no bigger than a hectare and Buys, brother Etienne who is viticulturist and winemaker Susan Erasmus are committed to a process of experimentation. “There’s no manual for a project like this. You don’t know what you don’t know,” says Buys.
Another wine that suggests that Casey’s Ridge has real promise is the Artisan Range Semillon Sauvignon Blanc Barrique 2010. It’s a blend of 51% Sem and 49% Sauvignon and spent 10 months in French oak, all second fill. There are flavours of yellow apple, green melon and some spice and the wine is medium bodied, fruit pure and juicy, acidity soft but sufficient. A really elegant, well rounded package. Score: 17/20.