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Sadie Family Swartland Kokerboom 2022

  • Old Vine Series. Following the Citrusdal Valley north towards Clanwilliam, we come to Sadie’s highest vineyard, Kokerboom. Named for the striking aloe plants that grow near the vines, Kokerboom was planted on Table Mountain sandstone in the 1930s and is now home to one of Swartland’s few remaining plantings of old-vine Semillon. This variety once made up 80% of South Africa’s national plantings. The site was owned and managed by Henk Laing until his recent death, and Sadie has said that this “… is one of the most pristine old vineyards we know. No herbicides or artificial fertilisers have ever been used on it, and it has been perfectly pruned over the years. The downside is that it is small and low-yielding.”

    Kokerboom is a field blend of Semillon Blanc and Semillon Gris, the latter contributing 15 to 25%, depending on the year. Both Semillons are picked and pressed together and raised in large-format oak. Thanks to its solar exposition, the Semillon ripens exceptionally well and has little to none of the tart herbaceousness sometimes associated with the grape. Instead, Semillon from this site is known for its ripe lime characters, as well as notes of chamomile and waxy texture. This year, Kokerboom is the lowest-yielding vineyard of the Old Vine Series—in 2022, the vines squeezed out just 16 hl/ha— and Eden implores that what little there is should be shared among friends! The 2022 is the first bottled at below 14% (it is 12.8%). “The tannins, acidity, overall texture and volume in the wine are incredible, and we are in awe of the power of this terroir,” says Eben. “The compact tannins and acidity take this wine to infinity and beyond…”

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