Columella 2017

By , 30 July 2019

Forged by fire.

Eben Sadie of Sadie Family Wines insists that 2017 is the first of the drought years to be bottled, his argument that although rainfall was greatly reduced in 2016, the vineyards had greater reserves to bear the adverse conditions.

Columella is, of course, a blend of multiple varieties – Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca – from multiple sites, a strategy that Sadie feels afforded him some leeway in working around the drought and still arrive at a wine of consequence.

The nose is quite heady and yet entirely capitivating – pomegranate, olive, herbs, flowers, earth, liqourice, white pepper and other spice while the palate is super-rich with apparently sweet, dense fruit offset by lip-smacking acidity (lower than usual but certainly not insufficient) and very fine, powdery tannins (alcohol: 14.04%). It makes a massive impression and as with Palladius of the same vintage, you have the sense of some very deft winemaking under the trying circumstances. Wine Cellar price: R900 a bottle.

Editor’s rating: 95/100.

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