Spioenkop new releases

By , 17 September 2021

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Koen Roose, originally from Belguim, farms a hilltop in the middle of Elgin, he planted two vines in the early 2000s. A qualified engineer and former sommelier, his wines reflect a particular aesthetic vision. Tasting notes and ratings of what’s recently become available as follows:

Spioenkop Queen Manthatisi 2018
Price: R125

70% Sauvignon Blanc, 23% Riesling and 7% Chenin Blanc, the latter two varieties matured in older oak for nine months. Pear, peach, lime and some leesy character on the nose while the palate has great fruit concentration, driving acidity and a saline finish. Plenty of intrigue provided by the interplay of the three different grape sorts.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Spioenkop Sarah Raal Chenin Blanc 2020
Price: R305

The grapes that usually go into the Johanna Brandt cuvée included in this vintage – 30% tank fermented, 70% fermented and matured for 12 months in barrel, 20% new. Honeysuckle, yellow apple, wet wool and spice on the nose while the palate displays super-concentrated fruit matched by lip-smacking acidity before a saline finish. Huge presence and flavour (alcohol is 14%).

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Spioenkop 1900 Chardonnay 2019
Price: R170

Barrel fermented and matured for 12 months in French oak, 20% new. Peach, citrus, a hint of burnt matchstick and a subtle leesy quality on the nose. The palate has a nice round mouthfeel – good depth of fruit and well integrated acidity, the finish gently savoury. Sound rather than outstanding.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

Spioenkop 1900 Syrah 2019
Price: R170

Grapes from a neighbouring farm. 20% whole-bunch fermentation, matured in older oak. A touch of reduction before red and black berries plus white pepper on the nose. The palate is light-bodied with fresh acidity and crunchy tannins  – subtle and understated.

CE’s rating: 90/100.

Spioenkop 1900 Pinotage 2019
Price: R265

Grapes from Stellenbosch. Matured for 12 months in French oak, 50% new. Complex aromatics of red cherry, violets, dried herbs, spice, earth and a touch of cured meat. The palate is light yet intensely flavoured. Pure fruit, lemon-like acidity and fine tannins, the finish super-dry.

CE’s rating: 94/100.

Spioenkop Elgin Pinotage 2020
Price: R455

Vinification involves some carbonic maceration plus 25% whole-bunch fermentation, the wine spending the first six months of maturation in 80% new oak before being returned to older oak for another six months. Gorgeous aromatics of red and black cherries, flowers, herbs and the merest hint of oak spice while the palate shows lovely clarity of fruit, bright acidity and ultra-fine tannins. It’s a wine of great refinement and elegance, wonderfully intricate in structure.

CE’s rating: 96/100.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.

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  • Dion Martin17 September 2021

    Hi Christian

    I believe you tasted these wines with Keon in attendance, and he does like to talk in the best possible sense. Could you perhaps elaborate on a few things. You say that his wines reflect a particular aesthetic vision, could you expand a bit on this. The Spioenkop Sarah Raal, you make no mention of grape varietal. And finally some unusual names for these wines, any further information to share?

    Cheers
    Dion

    • Christian Eedes18 September 2021

      Hi Dion, Sarah Raal and Johanna Brandt are from Chenin Blanc, my mistake for omitting this above and now corrected. To sum up Roose’s aesthetic, I would say the key characteristic is “tension”- that sense of all elements of his wines (fruit, acidity, tannin) providing a delicate and thrilling sort of push and pull. As for the names, they all spring from the Second Anglo-Boer War. Make an appointment with Roose for full details – it won’t be a short visit.

    • Valerie19 September 2021

      Hi Dion,

      This is the Spioenkop team!
      Thank you for pointing out that we indeed do not clarify the origin of the names of the wines on our website. We will set this straight soonest.

      In short: Koen likes to talk about his wines as his ‘ladies’, all elegant and strong. The farm was already named Spioenkop when buying it, so the battle at Spioenkop during the Anglo-Boer war (in 1900 to be precise) became the theme of the wines – hence also the 1900 range with the classic Elgin varietals. Sarah Raal, Johanna Brandt and Queen Mathatisi all were strong ladies that took up an important role during that war .

      We will clarify this in the description per bottle, that you can find in the webshop.

      Please enjoy the wines!

      cheers

      Spioenkop

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