Spioenkop new releases
By Christian Eedes, 17 September 2021
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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