Pre-arrival. Due early December.
Accessible young, as it tends to be, but also capable of ageing well in bottle, this is a coastal, 50/50 blend of Chenin Blanc and Palomino grown on highly unusual sand and limestone soils. Aromas of citrus and almonds lead into a palate that is engagingly fresh, briney and salty, finishing with a pithy tang. 96 points, Tim Atkin MW, South Africa Special Report 2021
Old Vine Series. Named after the abundant native scorpions that make their home here, Skerpioen is an unirrigated, 2.4-hectare, 80-plus-year-old vineyard planted half to Palomino and half to Chenin Blanc. It’s just two kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and overlooks the Elands Bay. The soils here are very sandy and chalky, of a type that Sadie likens to the white albarizas of Andalucía—fitting then that half the vines here are Palomino. This is also one of the coolest parts of the Swartland, but it’s a very dry location with an average rainfall of only around 300mm per year. This naturally restricts the yields and concentrates the fruit, magnifying the characteristic saline intensity in the grapes.
This parcel produces on average, a tiny yield of 24 hl/ha. The grapes are picked and pressed together and naturally co-ferment in old wooden casks. The result is a stunning and complex white that is completely unique. As always, this is Sadie’s most mineral, racy, and lower-alcohol white.
“The 2020 Skerpioen displays the usual saline and mineral qualities and some chamomile f lower aromas. In time and after further development, some wheat straw characteristics also appear and all of that is filled in with gripping tannin and a firm acidity. The 2020 is slightly more concentrated than the previous two vintages and is drinking well now, but will benefit greatly from about 5 years in the bottle.” Eben Sadie