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VIDEO 104. POFADDER 2012. EBEN SADIE
February 28. 2015
Eben Sadie is a terroirist, idealist and traditionalist and perhaps the best winemaker in South Africa. Winegrower – not winemaker – as he emphasizes again and again. Sadie’s own story begins with the end of the last millennium and the insight that in South Africa, although proper wines are produced, they lack something (just what?). He decides to travel in order to find out about this absence of this deficiency. First to Europe – Austria, Germany, Italy but above all Burgundy was on the travel plan.
Slowly he comes to the mystery on the track and that is buried in his view, in the ground. On the one hand, it is the very awareness that the cause of great wines is in the rock and in the soil, and on the other there are generations of winegrowers buried there, who have meticulously researched their terroir over decades and centuries: in short, tradition is the buzzword he carries home from Europe and that does not exist in South Africa in this form.
However, there are unexplored areas that are suitable for viticulture and if you can build on no great tradition, so you can at least try to justify one. Sadie seeks and finds happiness in Swartland – a cool, mountainous region – and grows there vineyards with classic European varieties: Syrah and Mourvedre, Viognier, Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc.
The story thus finds its South African sequel. Initially, there are a total of 17 barrels, which he fills with wine, for more it is not enough for now. The result is two wines that have gradually made their way to the top of the world: the red Columella – tribute to the Roman author of the agricultural treatise De Re Rustica – and the white Palladius, named after Columella’s most important disciple.
Sadie’s work in the vineyard, like that of the ancient Romans, is minimalist. He does not water (which is almost impossible in South Africa), he manages his old vines all over manually, he does not inject, he observes. For, in his view, this is the essence of good winemakers: in the understanding of their vines.
Country: South Africa
Wine region: Swartland
EBEN SADDIE FAMILY WINES
Pofadder 2012 is rubyred-colored and transparent. To blossom up it takes some oxygen. Exhibits aromas of red current, sweet cherries and graphite. Elegant and fresh. The wood seems to be outbalanced at this stage, but it will integrate gently in the future. Young wild. On the palate somehow burgundian-like with a compact fruit and a refreshing acidity and fine-grained tannins. Remarkable finish. Start from 2016 through 2022+.
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