Columella 2005

By , 8 February 2018

It has been said that presuming a certain level of quality, the only other requirements for a wine to assume icon status is that it should have 1) universal appeal and 2) be age-worthy. Columella 2015 from Swartland producer Sadie Family Wines was my 2017 wine of the year (see here) but how might the 2005 vintage be looking?

Columella 2005

Going the distance.

A bottle opened last night was pretty bloody impressive.  A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre, the nose showed red and black fruit, olive tapenade and fynbos but also less primary notes including some earthiness, smoked meat and even leather. The palate was rich and mellow with layers of flavour and a supremely long finish. With an alcohol of 14.5%, it’s pretty forceful – Sadie is the first to admit that he has subsequently reined in this wine – but it was hardly overpowering.  Probably a little too frayed around the edges to be considered magnificent (some maltiness creeping in) but it was hardly decrepit and you’re entitled to be quite chuffed if you’ve still got this in your cellar.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.


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