Black Elephant Vintners Dark Side of the Vine Semillon 2016
Black Elephant Vintners is a small wine producer started only a few years ago by Kevin Swart ("black") and Raymond Ndlovu ("elephant"), along with winemaker Jacques Wentzel, in the heart of the Franschhoek valley.
This is a truly remarkable wine, the Semillon grapes sourced from probably South Africa's oldest white wine vineyard, planted in 1905 in the valley's secluded Bo-Hoek area. Harvested by hand, the wine had a full 24 hours of skin contact before natural fermentation in old French oak barrels. Batonnage once a week added richness. Minimal added sulphur at this point, then another year in barrel before bottling without fining or filtration.
Wow. This is a textured, aromatic, lengthy joy to behold. Herbs, citrus, some reduction fully on the right side of pleasurable. To taste it's pure and lively, the mouthfeel monumental. No wonder it's seen S as one of the most exciting South African white wines in recent years.
"One of the finest Semillons on the market. This wine joins the ranks as one of South Africa’s very finest expressions of dry Semillon." - Greg Sherwood MW, 97 points, Fine Wine Safari (2016 vintage)
Franschhoek | SOUTH AFRICA