Pedigree: Eben Sadie is one of the great winemakers of the world! He has made wine all over the world including stints in Priorat, Italy, Spain, Germany, Burgundy and others. He was honored with the title of Winemakers' Winemaker of the year for 2017 by the Institute of Masters of Wine. This places him in really elite company, amongst whom are Paul Draper, Anne-Claude Leflaive, Egon Muller, Alvaro Palacios and Angelo Gaja. Eben is passionately committed to terroir expression. He is the driving force behind the reemergence of South Africa's Swartland Region. Swartland, which is arguably the most exciting wine region in South Africa today, is a treasure trove of rescued and recovered old vines and formerly less fashionable grape varieties. Eben concentrates of Rhone varieties with others. The blends are tweaked
Grape Varieties: Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsaut, Tinta Barocca. Average yield is 28 hl/ha.
Vinification: Columella is a blend of its vineyards and not a blend of a given thought pattern by Eben. The vintage is hand sorted, berry by berry into small "strawberry" cases. Fermentation takes place spontaneously in 3300 liter open concrete fermenters for about 3 weeks at 75°F and is then followed by a post-fermentation maceration of another 3 weeks. No additions are made to the fermenting wine. Pressing takes place in a traditional basket press and the wine is transferred to barrel (5%new) for malolactic fermentation. This is the 20th bottling of Columella and the fruit of the various sites is now perfectly knit together.
Ageing: The wine spends 12 months on the lees in tight-grain French oak barrels and is then racked into big, oval foudres for an additional year of maturation on the fine lees. After 2 years, the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Residual Sugar 1.6 g/l
Total Acidity 5.42 g/l
Total Sulfites 78 mg/l
Color: Bright ruby, garnet.
Bouquet: Dark berry fruits such as raspberry and blueberry. Lifted, bright red, crushed fruit on entry lead to some darker blueberry aromas. A heady amalgam of its constituent wines, beautifully integrated and balanced.
Palate: Palate is redolent of the nose. The wine is extremely finely intertwined with obvious but seamless tannins. The wine finishes very dry, the long aftertaste informed by the silkily refined tannins. The acidity is like a tightrope that threads through the wine from beginning to end, the magical contribution of the Carignan and the Mourvedre in the blend.
When to Drink: Drink now through 2028
Serving Temperature: 60°F - 65°F
Food Pairing: A "vino da meditazione." Very complex and infinitely faceted. Enjoy with grilled leg of lamb, Beef Wellington and Peking Duck. Save some for your creamy white cheese too.