David and Nadia Sadie are on a roll. Six years ago, they were staring at a single barrel of wine, the entire production from their first harvest, wondering what the future would hold. Today, their wines are so sought-after that their biggest problem is deciding who gets an allocation and who doesn’t. Despite their newfound success, they are still a small-scale operation, tinkering with a few barrels of this and that from remote vineyard sites dotted around the Swartland. These wines represent the ‘New Wave’ of South African winemaking, a move towards elegance and purity and away from richness, concentration and the spicy effects of new oak. David is a Swartland boy by birth and a member of the Swartland Independents by inclination, preferring to interfere as little as possible with the best fruit available. Barrel fermentation is used for all their wines, but always with barrels that are more than four years old, which he describes as “one thing we do very differently from the older generation.” It’s a hands-off style of winemaking that allows the character of the region to shine through, which is just how this understated couple would have it, and the result is a fantastic range of grown-up, complex wines with bags of character. They are surprisingly light, preferring to articulate the character of their terroir through the clarity of the fruit.
Meticulously crafted a truly incredible Chenin Blanc here, worthy of its price tag, that is a blend of several old Chenin vineyards from the 1960s, 70s and early 80s. The resultant wine exhibits delicate pear and white peach notes along with a citrus freshness. It is smooth and animated on the palate with an edge of minerality on the finish.