The Elim festival is all about showcasing their unique wines from the cool-climate area and the unique terroir of the Elim region – as well as local produce and craft from the region, near the most southerly tip of Africa. The area has become particularly well known for its cool-climate Sauvignon Blancs.
Formerly known as The Elim Wine Festival, the wineries of the Agulhas Wine Triangle share a spirit for exploration and adventure as the pioneers of a group of exciting, new wine growing regions in South Africa which are characterised by their proximity to the coast, extreme, cooling winds and ancient soils. They are known for producing elegant, terroir driven wines, with concentrated fruit flavours, distinctive minerality and a long finish.
Cape Agulhas, Overstrand and Swellendam – and forms a triangle from Gansbaai in the west to Napier, across to Buffeljags and Malgas in the northeast and incorporating Elim in the far south.
The Elim area is unique in that cool winds blow from the ocean from three different sides, with the cool sea breeze keeping temperatures here lower, instilling the penetrating fruit flavours. The distinctive minerality is also attributed to the four diverse soil types.
THE WINES WE TASTED:
Olivedale Private Vineyards is the only wine farm in Swellendam. Caramel toffee and fudge with a crispness of citrus and tropical fruit. A good structured wine ending off in a mouth-watering long lingering finish.
SKIPSKOP WINES – VIOGNIER 2018
A truly boutique winery and vineyard in Napier. This medium-bodied wine displays lovely flavours of stone fruit on the palate with a lingering finish. A firm acidity and well-rounded mouthfeel adds a touch of elegance.
SKIPSKOP WINES – SAUVIGNON BLANC SEMILLON 2019
This wine has classical fresh and stone fruit Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon complexity with pineapple and nectarine flavours complemented with strong herbaceous aromas. This wine has silky undertones that are well-balanced on the palate with a lingering after taste of grass and tropical fruits.
THE GIANT PERIWINKLE – WIND SCORPION SAUVIGNON BLANC
Stainless steel tank Sauvignon Blanc. The fresh acidity and structure of this Sauvignon Blanc reveal its Cape Agulhas origins. Passion fruit, lime, peach, capsicum and fynbos in elegant balance.
THE GIANT PERIWINKLE – THE BARD DRY WHITE BLEND 2019
A dry white blend of Semillon, Nouvelle, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. The nose abounds with floral and tropical fruit aromas. Lemon, lime, white peach and a vibrant green apple finish on the palate.
LOMOND ESTATE – MERLOT ROSÉ 2019
100% Merlot. Abundant aromas of fresh strawberrys, red cherries and rose petal, with a hint of candyfloss. Medium bodied with fresh crisp acidity supported by a depth of strawberry and spicy flavour.
LOMOND ESTATE – SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019
Brilliantly clear with a lime green tinge. Rich tropical flavours of stone fruit and hints of black current. Crisp and zesty with diverse layers of fruit and minerality.
STRANDVELD VINEYARDS – SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017
Passionfruit, grape fruit and distinctive blackcurrant on the nose. Creamy and full on the palate with citrus, fynbos and oyster shell minerality complemented by a lovely natural acidity and a long finish.
STRANDVELD VINEYARDS – ADAMASTOR 2017
Typical Elim minerality with Fynbos characters, citrus and white stone fruit. Full and creamy on the palate, with a combination of toasted oak flavours and a dry minerality finish. Adamastor is the mythical god of wind and storms. He represents the tempestuous forces of nature that Portuguese sailors such as Bartholomeu Dias had to overcome when rounding Africa’s southern tip at Cape Agulhas. The grapes for this wine come from Africa’s southernmost vineyards, not far from where Dias rounded the continent. We contend with the same relentless winds that faced him on his voyages. Low yields and intense flavours are the rewards we reap. It is thus fitting to name this superb Bordeaux-style Sauvignon/Semillon blend after Adamastor.
BRUCE JACK WINES – SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019
The point of difference results from carefully blending premium Sauvignon Blanc vineyards from different areas. The cool climate component from the Cape South Coast lends this wine intense crunchy green apple and lemon grass. The riper components provide juicy white peach and touch of citrus.
BRUCE JACK WINES – YEAR OF THE ROOSTER ROSÉ 2018
Light pink colour, with an intriguing floral nose of nectarines and strawberries. The palate is awash with spring blossoms and cherry, with just a hint of blackberry tannin. It is deliciously creamy, but bone dry.
THE BERRIO WINES – SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018
A beautiful combination of passionfruit and lemongrass aromas. A sensational, creamy mouthfeel with a crisp finish on the palate.
THE BERRIO WINES – WEATHER GIRL 2017
Fresh herbs on the nose with hints of white pear and lime. A crisp wine with a mineral aftertaste that lingers on the palate. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
GHOST CORNER – SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018
Powerful concentrated layers of green figs and gooseberries, with a touch of grapefruit, fynbos and a steely minerality on the palate. A reflection of the cool maritime climate of Elim where the grapes are sourced. Lees contact during the winemaking process creates length and richness on the aftertaste.
GHOST CORNER – WILD FERMENT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017
Naturally fermented Sauvignon Blanc. Enticing aromas of fleshy white pear and quince with an illusion of sweetness. Ten months barrel maturation gives a creamy, full-palate with beautiful length.
GHOST CORNER – SEMILLON 2017
An aromatic Semillon displaying aromas of green fig, white fruit and nettles characteristic of the cool climate in Elim. A distinct minerality with a slight earthiness on the nose that follows through onto the palate. A small amount of French oak adds a hint of smokiness leading to a creamy palate with a crisp acidity.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER WINES – SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018
A well balanced, cool climate Sauvignon Blanc, with a forthcoming nose of gooseberry, capsicum and tropical notes, complemented by a full palate of minerality and ripe lingering after tones.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER WINES – ROSÉ 2019
The Rosé is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The distinctive strawberry, red cherry and pomegranate aromas originate from the unique way these two grapes are fused. A lingering, dry crisp and mineral taste on the palate.
STRANDVELD VINEYARDS – ANDERS SPARRMAN PINOT NOIR 2015
Forest floor and red berry fruit with earthy undertones, savoury richness and firm tannins. An exceptional Pinot noir, named after famed Swedish naturalist and explorer Anders Sparrman who embodies our spirit of adventure and discovery and our commitment to preserving and protecting the abundant natural resources of the area. Expressive of piquant red berry flavours with earthy undertones this serious wine has a savoury richness and firm tannins that will allow for cellaring of up to 10 years.
STRANDVELD VINEYARDS – THE NAVIGATOR 2016
Aromas of cool-climate spice with white pepper and cloves. Floral hints courtesy of the Viognier. The spiciness carries through to the palate and is complemented by black berry flavours. The Grenache contributes juicy red berry fruit, dried peach tannins and a long finish. In homage to Prince Henry the Navigator and patron of early Portuguese exploration, this aromatic Rhône blend seamlessly combines the rich flavours of Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier.
STRANDVELD VINEYARDS – SYRAH 2017
A full-bodied wine with red berry, violet and black pepper aromas. Rich palate with firm tannins, backed by well-integrated oak and layered with intense black berry fruit flavours. A serious Shiraz that is big in structure. This wind-swept winery derives its name from the belt of land which spans the tempestuous tip of Africa’s southernmost coastline. At almost 35 degrees below the equator, this part of our fair Cape is characterised by severe winds, billowing mist and below average temperatures. A unique combination of maritime climate, alternating sites and diverse soil types work together to create the terroir which distinguishes the wines of Strandveld Vineyards.
BRUCE JACK – CLEAN SLATE SHIRAZ 2015
The nose reveals a wine with attractive berry and cherry fruit flavours infused with a good spiciness. These flavours carry through nicely to the palate, which is extremely smooth and well balanced.
BRUCE JACK – MOVEABLE FEAST
This feisty red is called Moveable Feast because the blend will alter slightly every year depending on what’s in the barrels and how they perform – a blend of Malbec and Shiraz with Tannat, Touriga Nacional and Barbera carefully blended in to spice it up.
CLUVER & JACK CIDER
The focus is on crisp, refreshing balance and natural, fresh apple flavours. It is much dryer than high volume, commercial ciders and pairs well with food, just like a good champagne would.
The Cluver family own De Rust Farm in Elgin and have done so for five generations. Pioneers of community upliftment, they grow delicious apples and top quality grapes, which under the Paul Cluver label, make some of South Africa’s best wines. The Jacks farm on Appelsdrift Farm in the Overberg Highlands. They grow organic vegetables, make organic olive oil and craft individual wines under The Drift Farm label.
Bruce Jack’s great-grandfather was one of the first to plant cider apple trees in South Africa.
The Cluver & Jack ciders are made in the Paul Cluver Winery, using a generations-old Jack family methodology.
THE BERRIO – SHIRAZ 2015
Shiraz showing a combination of sweet cherry and a distinctive white pepper spice on the nose.
Elegant on the palate showing balance with a lingering taste of cherries and spice.
GHOST CORNER – PINOT NOIR 2017
A beautifully crafted Pinot noir with prominent red fruit of ripe cherries and sweet raspberries with an undertone of earthy, mushroom nuances. A silky palate with berries and delicate oak components following through.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER WINES – TRITON 2015
Boutique Red Wine Blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre. Ripe red berry on the nose, with hints of mocha and white pepper. Remarkable minerality and soft tannin on the palate are complemented by a plump mouth feel and long finish.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER WINES – CABERNET SAUVIGNON MERLOT 2016
Boutique Red Wine Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Attractive nose of concentrated red berry fruit with hints of spicy aromas. Full bodied on the palate, this vibrant wine is elegant, well-structured and will partner any occasion.
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER WINES – NOBLE LATE HARVEST
Pale straw colour. Not too overly sweet with honey notes. Flavours of bitter marmelade and citrus create a sensation on the palate. Made from Sauvignon Blanc with 8% alcohol.
SIJNN WINES – RED 2015
Flagship field blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira. Deep true red colour. Lovely fresh dark wild berry nose with salty slate, licorice/fennel aspect that seems to be a signature Malgas character. Dense, juicy fruit palate envelopes the substantial, concentrated structure. Drinking well now, but expect it to go on and on. Some complex, spicy fruitcake on the mid-palate and a long, dry, silky finish.
SIJNN WINES – SAIGNÉE 2016
Pale juice ‘bled off’ the Mourvedre, Syrah, Trincadeira to produce a unique barrel fermented light red. Beguiling savoury nose with complex red berry flavours, with forest floor and flint aspects. Palate light and soft on texture, but loaded with complex barrel fermented flavours and a long grainy, refreshingly dry finish.
SIJNN WINES – CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012
Medium deep bright red colour. Forthcoming & ethereal cedar and spice nose with layers of red berry and cherry. Dry soft tannins with red berry fruit, fennel and spice persistent throughout the long, complex palate.
SIJNN WINES – RED 2011
Medium deep true red, youthful colour, even at 7 years. Dark slate, salted licorice nose with
fresh forest floor, cured meat and some wild herbs. Deep, dark berry fruit with great density
lurking beneath. Beguiling, complex and lifted with a balsamic aspect. Very full palate with
richness of fruit cut by the firm, but yielding tannins.
SKIPSKOP WINES – SANGIOVESE 2018
This is the third vintage of this classic Tuscan grape which has taken brilliantly to the dry climate of the Klein Karoo. This remote vineyard nestles into the foot of the Swartberg Mountains and produces fabulous fruit in very low yields. The classic elements of Sangiovese are all here; bright cherry and redcurrants, but in a light style. 12 months in old French Oak has gently seasoned and softened the wine.
SKIPSKOP WINES – PETIT VERDOT 2016
Black fruit flavours and smooth tannins. This intense, ruby red wine is concentrated and leads on the nose with sweet spice followed by dark cherries, black olives and violets. The palate is rich and juicy. The tannin structure is well integrated and delivers an intense, lasting finish.
THE GIANT PERIWINKLE – BAARDBEK DRY RED
Savoury red fruit aromas, delicate and fine, slightly grainy tannins enhancing the impression of juicyness. Fragrant and concentrated but striking on the finish. The name predates the move to Baardskeerdersbos.
THE GIANT PERIWINKLE – SUN SPIDER PINOTAGE
An elegant cool climate Pinotage with generous red fruit and earthy notes on the nose. A medium bodied wine with structured tannins ending in a long and savoury finish on the palate.
LOMOND WINE ESTATE – MERLOT 2017
Deep red with a bright ruby hue. Dark chocolate mint, ripe sweet dark berries, black olives and prunes. Clean cherry flavours with a hints of Fynbos and oak spice.
LOMOND WINE ESTATE – SYRAH 2015
Deep ruby red. Expressive aromas of classic spice, with beautiful blackberry undertones. Abundant aromatic flavours of white pepper with dark fruit and well-structured tannins. Elegant.
LOMOND WINE ESTATE – BELLADONNA SMV
A blend of Shiraz, Mouvedre and Viognier. Clear, vibrant and rich ruby red. Juicy red fruit with ample black pepper and other spices and hints of floral notes. Rich and intense flavours of pepper, dark chocolate and spice with soft, silky tannins.
Fraser’s Folly Brewing Company is owned by, and brewed at the Black Oystercatcher Wines – from the cool tip of Africa.
A Microbrewery based at Cederberg Private Cellar on Dwarsrivier farm in the heart of the pristine and unpolluted Cederberg Conservation area. They use spring water, flowing from the surrounding mountains and drawn through many layers of sandstone, naturally filtering impurities and gathering trace minerals en route; the result being crystal clear mountain water, perfect for brewing legendary beer that consistently delivers the signature taste.
Aside from the wine and craft beer there were also interesting and delicious goodies to buy and enjoy.
The Elim Wine Festival is for every wine lover – whether you’re a novice or a sommelier. This is a truly country festival with a fun atmosphere and real Overberg sincerity.
Visit www.elimwines.co.za for more information.