Explosions at Elim


The future of SA fine wine is unfolding way down south, at Elim, where a quartet of new producers: Strandveld Vineyards, Zoetendal, Black Oystercatcher and The Berrio are making explosive wines to bring tears to the cynical eyes of this Swartland vineyard owner. Wine that will fire an explosive harpoon into the pretentions of many a Swartland Revolutionary, like the one that did for the whale whose jaw bone marks the entrance to the Strandveld cellar. The counter revolution has begun and the gay washing on the strandveld line (below) will soon be replaced by the camouflage of sumcomandante Carrie Adams and her crew as they limber up for a counter attack on some sitting duck wine styles.

sv Explosions at Elim

The pioneers in Africa’s southernmost appellation were Hein Koegelenberg and Charles Hopkins who have now both gone on to fame in Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Explosions at Elim
by franschhoekwines
(La Motte) and Durbanville (De Grendel) respectively. That replacing sheep with vines back in 1996 was a good idea has been proved in a rash of new cool climate wines, the most exciting undoubtedly Shiraz with the Strandveld 2009 about to reshape the Rhône in Africa. The only off-note is the abandoned Quoin Rock vineyard whose viticulture has been taken over by teams of baboons. A farcical end to a brave venture.

A blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre this wine is tart with shapely legs. No baked fruit. Alcohols around 14% and fresh two oceans acidity, these are far from slap and tickle wines as the Good Value Guru noted. At R140 a bottle, way less than half the price of the flagship Pinot Noirs, the GVG predicts a massive defection from mediocre Burgundy wannabes from various cooler appellations beloved of sighted wine guides to Chapoutier at Cape Agulhas.