Spioenkop Sarah Raal Chenin Blanc 2017
Clear and bright pale yellow colour. The expressive nose exudes crisp green apple, stone fruit, hints of kumquat and exotic spices. Beautiful salinity on the palate with chalky, mineral notes and flavours of green apple, white peach, quince and a hint of lime. Fresh and crisp with a piercing acidity and endless finish.
This wine’s ageing potential means it can be keep for at least 8–10 years in the cellar.
Spioenkop Wines is named after the hill in KwaZuluNatal, which was also the scene of one of the bloodiest defeats of the Boer War for the British Army. This lovely Chenin Blanc from Ferricrete terroir, is Koen Roose’s homage to the Anglo Boer War, with particular attention to the role women played.
A prisoner in a concentration camp at Springfontein until her escape, Sarah Raal displayed considerable bravery. After her escape, Sarah Raal joined her brothers on commando and took part in a number of guerrilla engagements. She became famous for her valour and bravery. Koen has created a wine that perfectly embodies her memory: feminine and light, brave with no sign of becoming too overpowering or bold.
The winery is located in the almost crater-like Elgin Valley, surrounded by a craggy fringe of mountains. The vineyard is never below 200m above sea level and its environment’s architecture funnels a cool breeze from the Atlantic a few kilometres away. The vines grow in steep west facing slopes with sandstone, shale and light clay soils. Due to the climate and steep inclines in the valley, there is a good flow of rainwater through the soils and shales, which are characterised by fossils and mineral deposits. The vines are planted close together within each row to encourage low yields, and Koen’s philosophy is that: “Competition with their neighbours helps the vines to stay healthy and results in wines that have a deep colour and matching complexity.”
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Platter’s Wine Guide 2019 – FIVE STARS
Chenin off ferricrete soils. 17 nervy, fine aromas, with earth-nutty notes. Excellent balance – acidity & sugar (subtle 6.6 g/l) higher than Johanna, but poised & integrated, entwined with intense flavour, for exultant fantail finish. 9 months on lees, 3 in oak. 16 focused & tense.