Scions of Sinai new releases
By Christian Eedes, 26 April 2021
“Is the excitement of Cape wine dissipating?” was the provocative title of a recent piece by colleague Tim James, and the answer has to be “Not at all,” if the emergence of such a talent as Bernard Bredell of Scions of Sinai is anything to go by. His 2020s are now out and they are once again compelling in how stylistically uncompromising they are. Tasting notes and ratings as follows
Scions of Sinai Gramadoelas Grenache Blanc 2020
From a Klein Karoo vineyard. Subtle aromas of peach, apple and herbs before a palate showing quite extraordinary fruit density given an alcohol of just 11%. Bright acidity and a savoury finish, meanwhile, ensure a real lip-smacking qualtiy. Beautifully balanced, this instantly grabs your attention. Total production: 530 bottles.
CE’s rating: 94/100.
Scions of Sinai Granietsteen Chenin Blanc 2020
From 1978 vineyard on Rustenhof farm in the Lower Helderberg part of Stellenbosch. 70% left on the skins for four days and 30% whole-bunch pressed. Elusive but attractive aromatics – a hint of flinty reduction before citrus, peach, apple and dried herbs. The palate, meanwhile, is lean (alcohol is 12.8%) with vibrant acidity and a pithy finish. Total production: 1 119 bottles.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
Scions of Sinai Heldervallei Cinsault 2020
From a 1988 vineyard on Rustenhof. Vinification involves partial whole-bunch fermentation. Raspberry, red currant, fresh herbs and Turkish Delight on the nose. The palate is light (alcohol is 12.5) yet structured – pure fruit, bright acidity and fine but not indistinct tannins, the finish long and super-dry. Delicate and beautifully balanced. Total production: 825 bottles.
CE’s rating: 91/100.
Scions of Sinai Féniks Pinotage 2020
From a 1976 vineyard on Rustenhof. 70% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 12 months in older 225- and 400-litre barrels. The nose shows red cherry and an extraordinary amount of exotic floral perfume. The palate is remarkably pure with bright acidity and very fine tannins, the finish possessing a salty quality. Austere in the best sense (alcohol is 11.5) and quite particular. Total production: 1 202 bottles.
CE’s rating: 92/100.
Scions of Sinai Swanesang Syrah 2020
From a 0.7ha vineyard planted in 1999 on Seelug farm in the Lower Helderberg. 60% whole-bunch fermentation before maturation lasting 11 months in older 400-litre barrels. Complex aromatics of violets, dried herbs, red and black berries, olive, white pepper and a little earthiness. The palate is marked by excellent fruit delineation, bright acidity and fine tannins – intense but not weighty, lithe and energetic (alcohol is 13.12%). Showing both intricacy and harmony, this is once again a wine of ethereal beauty. Total production: 1 621 bottles.
CE’s raring: 96/100.
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