2011 Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Soldaat" Grenache Noir Swartland South Africa

SKU #1118905 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Old Vine Series Soldaat is a pure Grenache from Piekenierskloof planted at just over 700m on granite soils. It has a real, rustic, 'old skool' Chateauneuf-du-Pape inspired nose reminiscent of an old Rayas. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp strawberry and redcurrant fruit. It is slightly lower in alcohol than the other OVS wines (13%) and yet there is wonderful volume and length to the Grenache. There is a touch of sour cherry and balsamic towards the finish that lingers long in the mouth. There is just so much character in this Grenache you will want to have another bottle after it is finished.  (12/2012)

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Price: $51.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/27/2013 | Send Email
Wow- this is some mind blowing Grenache. When Jimmy C presented the Sadie Family Old Vine Series Soldaat at our recent South African staff tasting, I asked him if the tasting sheet had a typo. That was before he poured the wine. As soon as it was in my glass, I was sold on it, even if it were $75 or $100. This pale ruby Grenache looks like Pinot Noir in the glass and has complexity that the folks in the southern Rhone traded in for ripeness and pour a decade ago. The nose is expressive, detailed and full of smoke and old fashioned garrigue. On the palate it is medium to full bodied with a ton of authentic, old vine Grenache flavor. This reminds me of Marcoux Old Vine Chateauneuf, but without the excess fat and alcohol. What a great wine!
Drink from 2013 to 2026

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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.