2021 Sadie Family Swartland Columella
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2021 Sadie Family Swartland Columella

$335. 00
$4020.00 Dozen
ABV: 14%
Closure: Cork

First released in 2000, Columella is Sadie’s most famous wine. While it is regularly described as an icon wine of Swartland—and indeed South Africa—Eben Sadie’s goal is simply to produce the best and most honest expression he can from Swartland as a whole. As such the blend includes six of the seven official black grape varieties that grow within the region, sourced from a range of soil types. The 2018 is a smidge less than 50% Syrah, with the remainder coming from Mourvèdre, Grenache, Carignan, Tinta Barocca and Cinsault.

The fruit is sourced from both Sadie Family vineyards and rented parcels. This release was grown on seven different soil types (including granite, slate, gravel and sandstone) across nine separate vineyards in Paardeberg, Kasteelberg, Malmesbury and Piquetberg. The majority of the vineyards are low-yielding, old-vine parcels, though some of the Estate’s younger material also plays its part. Many of the Syrah vines have been trained to their own pole, echelas style, as per the Northern Rhône. In terms of the winemaking, most of the fruit is destemmed, although each year an increasing percentage of the fruit is whole-bunch. Sadie has a sorting team of 25 who discard between eight and 15% of the berries each year. The sorted grapes then go into a huge open fermenter (with an average of three weeks on skins) before being basket-pressed into mostly old, French oak barrels, (less than 10% new). Following a year on lees the wine is racked into seasoned oval casks (foudres) for a further maturation on the fine lees. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.

Other Reviews....
Composed of a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca, the 2021 Columella is instantly impressive, with firm layers of red fruit over a spicy core of oak that sways with notions of turned earth and a kiss of wild herbs. Medium to full-bodied and with about 14% alcohol, the palate is fresh and nimble while delivering more oak on the palate than the nose leads on. The palate has flavors of wild sage and black peppercorn with notes of baked clay and plum skin. Undoubtedly, it will age for decades, but don't be too hasty to open this right away. Just over 14,000 bottles were produced from 50% whole-cluster grapes. Drink 2024 - 2046.
98 points
Anthony Mueller - Wine Advocate (Dec 30, 2023)

The 2021 Columella is a blend of Rhône varieties, 30% Syrah, the lowest ever, with more Mourvèdre, plus Tinta Barocca, 50% whole clusters, spending 12 months in cask (10% new) and 12 months in old foudres, bottled with slightly higher CO2 due to less racking. It has a mixture of red and blueberry fruit, touches of aniseed coming through with time. There’s very fine delineation. The medium-bodied palate has a gorgeous opening with blood orange, black pepper and ginger. It's sleek and less powerful than older vintages, yet it has far more elegance and precision. This is a long-term Columella. Drink 2026-2052.
96 points
Neal Martin - Vinous

This is fragrant and polished with aromas of peach pits, sandalwood, cherry stones, hazelnuts and orange zest. Fabulously intense, building on the palate to a crescendo, slowly, with supple and very fine tannins giving an elegant structure to the fruit and spice. Elegant and immensely long. Syrah, mourvedre, carignan, cinsault, grenache and tinta barroca. Better from 2025.
97 points
James Suckling