Thursday, January 16, 2020

A visit to Strandveld Vineyards, Elim

While we were on holiday in the area, we wanted to go to Strandveld wines and taste their new wines and we had an absolutely wonderful time. And, of course, bought lots of wine. We so recommend that you go to this winery if you are in the area. They have had a great year with much international acclaim, and British wine writer/judge Tim Atkin MW scoring the wines that he tasted very highly; in fact, their 2017 and 2018 "entry level" First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc scored the highest that any Sauvignon Blanc world wide has ever achieved in the Decanter annual awards in 2018 and 2019
This is their wine cellar
We went to the Tasting room and were so well looked after by Otillia Jansen van Rensburg
It was a warm day, so we sat on the verandah in the shade
One of the other buildings on the farm, which is now accommodation
This is where we had a private tasting with our Wine Club two years ago when we stayed in Stanford
If you have a wine group, we do recommend bringing your club here for a tasting, or just come on your own
Swallows and sparrows were all around us and nesting in the roof trusses
Strandveld have won some very special awards and international recognition with high scoring wines
We began with the 2019 First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc; full elderflower, fig leaf and capsicum
Tropical at first, then the greener flavours appear
Crisp with good acidity, will open up more during the year. A steal at R85, such quality
The 2017 and 2018 won Platinum Medals (97 points) in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 and 2019
The garden is well planted for their dry conditions
The Poffadderbos Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is grown on Koffieklip soil. Elegance on the nose with capsicum,
full on the palate with crisp limes, lemon and elderflower. Very enjoyable 17/20
The 2017 Poffadderbos shows just what a little age on these wines can do. Tim Atkin scored this 93 points
Loquat, granadilla, dusty elderflower, minerality and elegance on the nose
On the palate, smooth & crisp with granadilla and lime, with long enticing flavours,
it leaves a little chalky tannin on the roof of your mouth. 18/20
A tiny sparrow was hoping we would leave some crumbs, but we were not eating
Adamastor 2017 - also 93 points from Tim Atkin. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
Clean elegant, flinty minerality, a hint of toast, shy fruit with a hint of unripe fig
Smooth and crisp lemon, lime, wood, mutton fat, long flavours, warmth of alcohol, minerality and wood on the end. 18½/20
The Strandveld Viognier was only made in very small quantities
We loved this wine so much and we were relieved to find that we were still able to buy six
"Please make more, Konrad", we begged
Vanilla oak, floral perfume then fynbos on the restrained nose. Honey, peaches, nectarines, fresh fruit, long flavours,
wood in the background. Almonds appear and the wine is round on the palate, coating it in a semillon-like way
Absolutely delicious and seldom have we encountered one as good as this 19/20
The First Sighting Rosé had vanilla, roses, watermelon and raspberries on the nose
Mulberry and pomegranate on the palate with a little watermelon on the end
Rose pink and so good with summer food
The 2018 First Sighting Shiraz has incense wood, cherries on the nose. Full of wood and fruit
Dark, salty and long with cherries, mulberries and cassis
The 2017 Syrah has smoky bacon on the nose, salty cherry fruit, friendly and quaffable
So fresh and young. This will age well
The Navigator 2016 is an excellent blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Viognier
Expensive wood, spice, smoke, coriander seed, cassis and cherry. Silky soft on the palate
Umami with soy and full berry fruit, very delicious with long flavours and chalky minerality, with wood on the end
How could one resist this beautiful wine? 19/20
Another with 93 points from Tim Atkin
The 2018 Grenache has smoke, vanilla, rhubarb and cherry on the nose
Round dark fruit, with some soy salt, long flavours and some expected wildness. Delicious
Talented, down to earth winemaker Konrad Vlok has a lifetime of experience which shows in the great wines he makes
We are huge fans and it shows in the quantity of wine we buy whenever we visit the farm
Sadly the last Pinot Noir they will make, the vineyard has been pulled up
It is a classic expression of what the grape can do given the right terroir and climate
Perfumed with cherry and raspberry, and full of serious fruit in layers
Good wood, lots of elegance, with minerality and charm, this wine is very French in style with a hint of salt on the end palate
There are only a few Pinots like this in SA and we hope for more. It reminded us of Newton Johnson
And a gift for us to take home, Konrad's Stamboom (Family Tree), an interesting blend of Pinot Noir, Cinsaut and Pinotage
As we drove through the vineyards, a herd of Grey Rhebok (Pelea capreolus) ran past
The athletic Rhebok gave its name to the Reebok sports shoe brand
This is the soil, no, rocky ground that the vines grow in
Some koffieklip and lots of sandstone
Farming organically with as little interference as possible
Berries just reaching veraison
Healthy vines
New plantings
Guinea fools (Lynne's name for them) get a great view of the surroundings from atop a mound of koffieklip boulders
So great to see a wild hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus)
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