I'm still kicking myself for missing out on the first Revenge of the Crayfish that sold out immediately after some wise people spread the news about the awesomeness that is Sakkie Mouton Family Wines...
Let me officially declare that the awesomeness is real!
Before we jump into this wine, we need to talk about the man. Sakkie Mouton is the definition of lekker. So much of Sakkie's personality comes through in his wines. Honest, authentic, excited and positive. Can I also say that the last time I met him, he insisted on talking about Kunye for most of our wine chats. Forget the Chilean País that I brought along especially to satisfy his inner wine nerd. Forget all chats about him and his wines and the Weskus. The dude is humble! Which just means that I'll need to visit his cellar one day so that we can devote a session to talking all about Sakkie Mouton Family Wines and the future of the Weskus as a grape growing region.
Pale lemon with a medium intensity nose of apple fizz pops (it’s an SA thing), cream soda sherbert, limes...but also hints of pepper and unripe pears (the only ones I’ll eat).
Dry, electric acidity, light bodied, and a medium finish that, after taking a moment to decipher what just happened in your mouth, makes you head back for another sip...and another...and another.
I decided to decant some of the wine and, after 2 hours, there was a distinct change - a more golden colour, less cream soda, the addition of nectarines, more kumquat than lime, and a hint of grass. I also couldn’t escape the feeling of walking along the coast, breathing in the sea air, while happily crunching shells underfoot. I believe a much wiser and less verbose person would wrap that up as 'chalky minerality'.
Vini + Viti:
56% Chenel + 24% Colombard + 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The neutral Chenel saw some skin contact. The Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc were whole bunch pressed. Spontaneous fermentation, of course, in old oak. The wine spent 7 months on its gross lees with weekly battonage. With a bit of SO2 before bottling...coz we don’t take unnecessary risks.
If you don't know, Chenel is a cross between Chenin Blanc and Ugni Blanc that was developed in SA in 1974. The mother block is still planted at Elsenburg College, where Sakkie picked up his skills in the winery. There are only 29 hectares left in SA. These specific grapes are from an 8 hectare patch in the Weskus (West Coast).
Colombard, another offspring of Chenin Blanc (and Gouias blanc), has a long history in the Cape as it was primarily used as the base wine for brandy.
And good old Savvy B!
Balance (1) + Length (½) + Intensity (1) + Complexity (½) = A good wine
Drink now, but potential for further ageing out of pure curiousity about how all these acids might settle in a few years. Too bad this particular wine is already sold out. It's another wine that, despite the average BLIC score, it's actually something that really excites and titillates me. Where, regardless of what the BLIC says, my personal rating is 'buy it now because I hope you love it as much as I do!'.
The reason I mention the grapes is because it was fascinating thinking about what the Chenel, Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc brought to the wine. Bar a faint trace of grass, I'm not sure I picked up on the, not insignificant, 20% proportion. Which, seeing as Savvy B is such a distinctively aromatic grape, makes me wonder if this wine has some further settling to do in the bottle. I've tasted a few still Colombard wines but never any single varietal Chenel. So what's really interesting to me is the role of Chenel in this blend. It's something I'd like to explore further. And dammit, a wine that makes you ask more questions is the wine I want to keep drinking.
I just spoke to Sakkie...and I’m going to leave you with his description of this wine - White Bordeaux goes Weskus! The dude is as delightful and honest as his wines.