Coastal Region,South Africa,
  • Greg Sherwood: 97
  • Jancis Robinson: 16.5


Bottle size: 750 ml,

In stock

Semillon was one of the first grapes to arrive in South Africa in the 1600’s with the Dutch settlers. The wine made from this variety soon became a favourite and was affectionately
named ‘Wijndruif’ or ‘Wine Grape’. Due to the green colour of the grapes, and the green hues of the wine it was later officially named ‘Groendruif’or ‘Green grape’. This name was kept for over 300 years and it became the most planted and important grape variety in South Africa. With the rise of the more versatile Chenin blanc, large numbers of Semillon vineyards were uprooted in the last 100 years. Today, very few old vine vineyards remain and is now celebrated for its heritage in South Africa.

In The Cellar
With its small size and yield, the vineyard is monitored carefully and precisely timed to harvest at the desired ripeness. For optimal flavour expression, the grape juice are left on skins for a couple of hours to extract more flavours. It is then pressed and cold settled overnight without fining agents or enzymes. The clean juice ferments spontaneously with natural yeasts in 400L old seasoned barrels in a cooled barrel cellar. Natural malolactic fermentation is also allowed. The wine is aged on its fine lees without battonage for 12 months before it is bottled. No additions other than sulphur is made and bottled only with a light filtration.

In The Vineyard
This vineyard was planted in 1963 as an unirrigated bush vine vines on the lower lying, valley-bottom of the Siebritskloof. This was historically believed to suit the grape variety of Semillon very well, confirmed by the planting records of the old days. The vineyard was mostly uprooted in the 1990’s but a small corner of the vineyard, about 0.3 hectare, remained untouched and is farmed individually for the last 15 years. The soil is loamy, organically rich and very well drained. Since it was started to be farmed organically, the diversity in soil life has significantly increased resulting also in healthier vines, increased reserves and better quality grapes.
This enticing Swartland single vineyard old vine Semillon planted in 1963 shows a brightly polished bronze colour in the glass before delightfully lifted aromatics of sweet yellow honeysuckle, lemon custard, lemongrass, iced tea, white pepper, lanolin, dry bushveld and a dusty granitic mineral spice. Like the nose, the palate also reveals an incredibly plush, harmonious integration with seamless layers of textural and flavour complexity. In true old vine Semillon fashion, the flavours coat the mouth from corner to corner, lingering to display a cornucopia of honied yellow fruits, lemon pastille, pineapple confit, glacé orange peel and a subtle savoury, buttery, pithy white citrus spice on a long, dreamy finish. This really is an astonishingly delicious and profound expression of old vine Semillon that comfortably rubs shoulders with some of South Africa’s greatest expressions, most notably from the Swartland and the Franschhoek Valley. Definitely a savouring, cerebral style of Semillon but also one that every connoisseur will want to have in their cellar. Drink on release or cellar for 10 to 12+ years. (Wine Safari Score: 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW)