Wow! What a wine! – #saveSAwine

Naude Old Vine Series Semillon 2016 is another post in my #saveSAwine series. 20 weeks of prohibition in South Africa have put more than 27,000 jobs in the wine value supply chain at risk.

With a glut of hundreds of millions of litres of unsold wine in storage, we need to drive exports to save these jobs and #saveSAwine by buying as much South African wine as possible.

This is the third attempt I have made to review Naude Old Vine Series Semillon 2016. The first two I have smelled and tasted the wine then just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

There is a great pleasure in drinking really fine wine in the company of other people who are interested in wine. That pleasure does not necessarily lend itself to being in the correct mindset to process a tasting note. I will try harder this time.

Dry Semillon reaches its zenith in the Hunter Valley in Australia. The wines from there are light in alcohol, never see any new oak and can age for decades. Naude Old Vine Series Semillon 2016 is very much in this mould.

Naude Old Vine Series Semillon 2016 is only 12%, but high alcohol is certainly not a marker of quality. As the above probably indicates, on the two previous occasions I have tried this wine I have found it of towering quality and it has pleasured me immensely. I hope it will this time!

Let us commence!

Naude Old Vine Series Semillon 2016

Old Vine Series Semillon 2016, Ian Naude

Just as I said Ian Naude’s Old Vine Series Chenin Blanc was a wine of dichotomies, that description seems true of this wine as well. There are two sets of aromas that swirl and dance on the nose of this wine.

One is a dense, powerful sense of lanolin, wax and vanilla. The last of these might make a neophyte think this wine had been given a lavish oak treatment; it has not. These are the aromas of a perfectly ripe, but not overripe, Semillon grape.

The other scents that charge this nose are light and refined aromas of fresh cut nettle and grass, underpinned by a powerful granitic stoniness. Both of these sets of smells are integrated and combine brilliantly, yet seem opposed to each other, giving the nose a stunning, energetic tension.

The nose is very exciting. It lives and breathes, it grows and shrinks, it spins and swirls. As it is exposed to more air the aromas mingle and combine until one has the feeling that it is a freshly split piece of oak with crushed leaves still on the branches of the tree. Again, this wine has seen no new oak, it is just the powerful, livid aromas of Semillon that has been harvested at early ripeness.

Wow, experiencing that nose develop was very exciting! No wonder I was distracted when I tried to write a note on previous attempts!

The palate is light and green on the entry, with sapid acidity and fresh cut grass. It then grows to fill your palate with the density of old vines and rich minerality. It is creamy and complex, stunningly beautiful – delicious!

These flavours persist as you swallow leaving your palate coated with lanolin/vanillin richness and little scintillations of acidity flashing and lighting the finish. Again this is a very exciting, thrilling, engaging palate, just as the nose was.

I am moved by this wine. A lot. It is beautiful, complex, involute, coruscating. It is time to drink not taste!

#saveSAwine at Handford.

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