2017 Dark Side Of The Vine Semillon

Cape South Coast,South Africa,


Bottle size: 75cl,
  • GS-97
  • JR-90

In stock

“””From Boekenhoutskloof to Alheit La Colline, Franschhoek old-vine Semillon has been responsible for some of South Africa’s most captivating wines in recent times. Now Jacques Wentzel of Black Elephant Vintners enters the fray with a quite magnificent offering in the form of The Dark Side of the Vine. Grapes from a single vineyard planted in 1905 in the Bo-Hoek area of the ward, the winemaking involved 24 hours of skin contact before spontaneous fermentation and maturation lasting 12 months in

Category: SKU: hub-10316561-1-DP-STOCK-N



All our fruit is handpicked and chilled in our cold room overnight. The following day the grapes were destemmed without crushing the berries and left to macerate on the skins for 24 hours before pressing. The pressed juice was allowed to settle in the tank overnight, and the clear juice was transferred to one old French oak barrel for fermentation. The juice fermented naturally for six weeks at temperatures of 18-24°C. After fermentation, we did batonnage once a week to add richness to the wine. SO2 was added just before spring, and the wine spent 17 months in the barrel before bottling.


The wine was matured for 17 months in one old 500L French oak barrels and bottled without fining or filtration; sedimentation may occur. VINEYARD INFORMATION Made from the historic Landau du Val vineyard, which was planted in 1905. Due to the effects of the drought experienced from 2016-2019, we did not produce any wine from this vineyard during the 2018 vintage and have patiently waited for the 2019 vintage to mature in our barrels.

Additional information

Wine Type



South Africa


Cape South Coast




Black Elephant Vintners



Bottle Size


Pack Size


Alcohol Percentage


Duty Status

Duty Paid



Rating Agencies

Greg Sherwood, JancisRobinson.com


JancisRobinson.com 90

[Jancis Robinson, 01/01/2023]

Greg Sherwood 97

This is one of the most impressive old vine Semillons produced in South Africa. What started life as a super taut, tightly wound nervy vintage white is now finally starting to reveal some of its true inner secrets after almost 6 years ageing in barrel and bottle. This vintage still requires beneficial air time in glass or decanter to breathe, but it has definitely evolved and started opening up previously hidden doors of complexity and texture. The aromatics are rich and alluring, packed full of honey and white citrus, nectarine peel, crushed gravel minerality and notes of dried nuts with a subtle lick of lanolin and tinned petit pois. On the palate, a wonderful structural depth and breadth is revealed, impressively dense and glycerol with a real sensation of dry extract concentration from the exceptional old vine fruit. There is plenty of crunchy white peach stone fruit, dried herbs, tart green pear, yellow grapefruit confit and a long leesy finish framed by tangy fresh acids. I said in my original review back in February 2021 that this was another complex, restrained offering that will take a little time in the cellar to show at its very best. That has indeed been the case and now, this 2017 vintage is truly on fire. Time to enjoy the classism and quality of this very fine Semillon expression. Drink from 2023 to 2033+. – Greg Sherwood MW [Greg Sherwood, 01/01/2023]