Another Sadie Family wine that lost half of its crop to the growing season in 2019, Kokerboom is part of a stunning array of whites from Eben Sadie this year. Made with co-planted Semillon Blanc and Gris from Henk Laing’s farm, this is herbal, saline and refreshing, all pink grapefruit, lime and lemongrass with a herbal twist and the gentle caress of old barrels. 97 points, Tim Atkin MW, South Africa Special Report 2020
North of the Citrusdal Valley north is Sadie’s highest vineyard, Kokerboom. Named for the striking aloe plants that grow near the vines, Kokerboom was planted on Table Mountain sandstone in the 1930’s and is now home to one of Swartland’s few remaining plantings of old-vine Semillon. Owned and managed by Henk Laing, Sadie notes “This is one of the most pristine old vineyards we know. No herbicides or artificial fertilizers have been used on it, and it has been perfectly pruned over the years. The downside is that it is small and low-yielding.”
Kokerboom is a field blend of Semillon Blanc and Semillon Gris, the latter contributing between 20-30% depending on the year. Both Semillons are picked and pressed together and raised in large-format oak. The Semillon ripens extremely well here and has little to none of the tart herbaceousness so often associated with this grape. Instead, it’s known for its ripe lime character with more citrus and chamomile flavours and a waxy texture. Yields were 50% down in 2019, so we have a tiny amount only.
The tiny crop ripened perfectly and alongside the 2015 this has to be the best bottling to date. Very limited, but magnificent. The very typical beeswax, lemon and chamomile flavours are present, as well as a serious mineral undertone and dense texture. Eben Sadie