Mouton Family Wines Sand Erf Vermentino 2021

Brace yourself for a Weskus revolution!

It's only so often that a new release has everyone buzzing with excitement. My inbox was filled with queries about my thoughts on the wine...people who'd never spoken to me before started engaging with me. It's safe to say that Sakkie's wines are conversation starters. That's the power of reaching cult status...which he surely has. He's a young and passionate winemaker who believes that the West Coast is capable of producing premium wines. And he is proving this  to be true with his Revenge of the Crayfish Chenin Blanc, the Full On Misfits white blend, and now this Sand Erf Vermentino.

Sakkie Mouton Family Wines Sand Erf Vermentino 2021

The Wine:

Very pale lemon with a medium nose of surprisingly aromatic limes, blossoms, white peaches, Granny Smith apples, distant sea breezes, and delightful petrichor.

Dry and light bodied with the expected high acidity. I physically braced myself...for no reason... because the acidity is smooth and controlled, and not in the least bit distracting.

Lime juice and zest, grapefruit peel, kumquats, as well as green apple, and some white peaches (that were more prominent after having a bite of my spicy pork stir fry). There's a very distinctive salinity, metallic oyster shells  and crushed quartz that, in my opinion, is what makes this special and sets it apart from Italian Vermentino. And a medium finish that makes you wonder why you bothered with the Coravin...when you already know that you want another glass.

I've no doubt that this wine will further smooth itself out even with a little more time in bottle. A part of me, the geeky rule breaking part, is curious about how this high acid white wine could age over the years.

Vini + Viti:

Vermentino grapes were sourced from 6 year old vines planted in an area known as Sand Erf (an ‘erf’ is a plot of land roughly half an acre in size) 15 kilometres inland from the West Coast. The vines, grafted to nematode-resistant Ramsey rootstocks, grow in decomposed sandstone with small pockets of limestone.

These vineyards, originally planted for a large bulk brand but rejected because they didn’t yield sufficient juice, are capable of thriving in our warm SA climate…ticking the sustainable checkbox.

There's something very special about the winemaker growing up in this region, and his belief that these vines are capable of producing premium wines.

Sakkie discovered the block and saw the potential to nurture these grapes and produce a wine that honours his grandfather (that’s his grandpa on the label, riding the bull).

After an early morning harvest, the grapes were chilled in a cold room. Then foot stomped whole bunches were pressed in an old basket press. The juice was transferred to stainless steel tanks for 12 hours of cold settling. Thereafter, the juice was racked to 228 litre barrels to be naturally fermented. The finished wine was aged on its gross lees for 4 months with regular bâtonnage, followed by racking to 500 litre barrels for a further 2 months of ageing.

Final thoughts: 

It's no secret that I, along with many other people were excited about this new release. There's the aforementioned cult status that Sakkie has earned. But also the excitement about Vermentino in South Africa...and from Koekenaap! There's also a deep satisfaction in seeing these abandoned vines being nurtured by skills hands to produce an exciting and electric wine that shows Sakkie's now signature Weskus salinity. A friend on insta commented that you've got to love when 'the grapes are too good for shitty wine'!

If you haven’t already done so, go and watch the video where Sakkie describes this wine as ‘Chenin Blanc with some swagger’...and enjoy the visuals of  daisies in a vineyard?

Find the Wine:

Sakkie Mouton Family Wines

The wines are also headed to these parts of the world:

Kaap tot Kaap wyn - Netherlands
Unico real wines - Norway
Vinosa - UK
Handford Wines - UK

Click here to read about the Vloedvlak Colombar 2022, Revenge of the Crayfish 2022, and Full On Misfit Blanc 2020 .

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