Just arrived: Ian Naudé's Old Vine releases and Patatsfontein Steen 2014

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New Old Vines – 'Ignore at your peril'

Eben Sadie's Old Vine Series changed the entire wine landscape, shifting focus onto vineyard expression rather than grape variety or producer. They are South Africa’s most sought-after wines. Many of the vineyards were identified and rejuvenated by viticulturist Rosa Kruger (who has also documented them here) and both figures have been instrumental in South Africa’s wine revolution.

 

While Eben and Rosa have been in the spotlight, Ian Naudé has very much been an under-the-radar 'Old Gun' since he started producing progressive Adoro wines in 2004. But his new 'Old Vine' releases are just incredible. We were completely blown-away by the Cinsault, produced from a 36-year-old Darling vineyard and made in an honest, classic style. We reckon it contends for the 'Best Cinsault' title, alongside Sadie Pofadder and Badenhorst Ramnasgras. The Chenin too is brilliant, with unbelievable concentration, depth and length at just 12.5% alcohol. It features 3 old vineyards from across the Cape, displaying deft blending.

 

'Ignore these at your peril,' say Hennie and Maggie of Batonage.com.

 

naude wines

 

While the Naudé Chenin is more racy and mineral, the Patatsfontein – produced from a 30-year-old Montagu vineyard – is slightly more unctuous and savoury. Made by Reenen Borman in partnership with the Schoon De Companje crew in Stellenbosch, their maiden vintage was 'white wine discovery of 2015' in Tim Atkin’s South Africa Report. We all seem to agree on this one; ‘Crackerjack stuff’ says Christian Eedes.

 

These low-yielding old vineyards produce very little wine and all 3 are extremely limited.

 

Producer  
Wine Region Vintage Rating R / bottle
Patatsfontein Steen
Montagu
2014
TA 94
R 255
Naudé Old Vines Chenin Blanc
Western Cape
2013
TA 92
R 205
Naudé Old Vines Cinsault
Swartland
2014
CE 93
R 205

 

TA: Tim Atkin
CE: Christian Eedes

 

Free delivery to main centres on orders over R1,500. If you need any assistance, call us on 021 448 4105 (CT) or 011 027 9463 (JHB). View delivery charges.

 

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Vinous regards,
Roland and the Wine Cellar team

 

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Tasting Notes

 

Patatsfontein Steen 2014 – R 255

A three way joint-venture which includes Reenen Borman of Boschkloof, this is my white wine discovery of 2015. Formerly sold off to the local co-op, this Montagu Chenin Blanc is a revelation. Saline, textured and oatmealy, with some skin tannins, wax and spice and perfectly judged oak. Drink: 2015-22. – Tim Atkin

 

A 0.6ha block of Chenin Blanc planted in 1985 on shale soil. It’s crackerjack stuff. White peach and a lovely floral note (not as heady as honeysuckle, more Karoo scrub) and a little spice. Great fruit purity and an acidity which gives the wine drive (although technically not that high at 5.6g/l) and a wonderfully savoury finish – just the right amount of bitterness which I increasingly note on old-vine Chenin. I don’t like to use the term “elegant” loosely but this really is. – Christian Eedes

 

Naudé Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2013 – R 205

Ian Naudé blends fruit from Elgin, Paarl and Darling here in a dry style that has the ageing potential that characterises his wines. Apple pie, some struck match, creamy oak and a core of taut acidity, this is very fresh and long on the palate. Drink: 2015-20. – Tim Atkin

 

From three vineyards, two in Riebeek Kasteel vineyards and one in Stellenbosch, ranging from 35 to 55 years in age. Also known as ‘Steen’, the Chenin grapes from these 30- to 50-year-old vineyards revealed even more quality and intensity than we could have hoped for, proving that age eliminates the need for blending to achieve a high quality and intense white wine in a classic style. – Christian Eedes

 

Naudé Old Vines Cinsault 2014 – R 205

From a 36-year-old vineyard in Darling. Two-thirds whole-bunch fermented, matured for six months in second-fill barrels. An extraordinarily pretty wine – the nose shows red cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, wild flowers and herbs. Lovely fruit purity, fresh acidity and fine tannins – it possesses plenty of detail and real poise. The finish is long with a slight briny quality. Neither flimsy nor over-extracted. One of best new-wave examples yet. – Christian Eedes

 

These old vines showed remarkable Old World quality, which we honoured by allowing the wine to reflect this elegant style. – Producer

 

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