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Winery of the Week: Sadie Family Wines

This internationally renowned winery continues to develop its home-farm base on Swartland’s Paardeberg, and now, with the purchase of some adjacent vineyards, to extend its size. The two original organically farmed parcels, devoted to a range of, respectively, white and black grapes, are now complemented by a third, planted with both. Some of the varieties are new to SA and experimental here; all are planted with an eye to tolerating ever hotter, drier Swartland. ‘The region has to evolve,’ Eben Sadie believes. It’s fitting that his creation was recently awarded the Robert Parker Green Emblem, a distinction recognising producers that have achieved outstanding levels of sustainability. With Paul Jordaan as a highly accomplished winemaker, Eben now spends much of his time in the vineyards, not just those he owns, but the 40-plus he has on lease, most of whose viticulture he controls, working with his permanent team as well as viticulturist Morné Steyn. The fruit of this work shows in the magnificent range: the two signature blends and eight remarkable wines honouring old, dryland vines spanning the winelands. All ten received our highest rating this year (including three Wines of the Year), the highest number ever for one producer. There was no question but that Sadie Family would be acclaimed, once more, as our Top Performing Winery of the Year.


Sadie Family Wines 'T Voetpad 2020

(95 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: White blends, wooded, dry

Isolated ungrafted Swartland vines, co-fermented field blend chenin, semillon blanc/gris, palomino & muscat d’Alexandrie. Fruit all dropped to save the vines in 2019 drought. 2020 returns with beguiling harmony in gentle warm hay, blossom & spring flower scents; palate-lifting freshness, tannins lengthening the charm. Just one tiny cask made. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Columella 2019

(98 pts)

Signature Series
Category: Red blends, shiraz/syrah-based

Swartland sextet, mainly syrah, blended to reflect area. 2019 rebounds with joyous expression after drought-affected 2018 (4.5 stars, 94 pts): aromatic spice, nuts & dark-berry medley gently scented with violets. Rich & savoury, with freshening manicured tannins. Possibly their finest red to date, among SA’s best too. Year in small oak, 10% new, then another in foudre. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Kokerboom 2020

(95 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: Semillon wooded

Calm purity in 2020 but also intensity in its lime-edged, waxy notes. Silk texture & mineral core, wine’s ying & yang in perfect symmetry, promise steady, deserved maturity. Again, low yield off this high-lying Olifants River white & red 1930s semillon vineyard. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Mev. Kirsten 2020

(98 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: Chenin blanc wooded, dry

From SA’s oldest chenin block, in Stellenbosch, repaying the great labout invested in it. 2020 a brilliant follow-up to 2019 as, again, our highest rated chenin of the year. Glorious gold lights foretell the ripe Golden Delicious apple, blossom, white peach concentration, layered in the dense, heavy silk texture & intensified by electrifying acidity. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Palladius 2019

(96 pts)

Signature Series
Category: White blends, unwooded, dry

Incorporates Swartland’s significant white varieties, chenin leading, made in concrete ‘egg’ & clay pots. Generosity of ripe aromas, including honey, florals & spice repeated in 2019’s weighty, broad texture; freshness too & great depth of flavour. Grippy & dry, a long, rewarding future ahead - true also of 2018 (4.5 stars, 94 pts). Also in 1.5 & 3L, like Columella. Unfined/filtered, as all. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Pofadder 2020

(95 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: Cinsaut

2020 cinsault has structure & balance, yet contained, compact. Cinnamon-spiced red fruit youthfully whispers bright perfume, taking time to blossom, reveal its complex layers - time this serious bottling deserves. Vines on Riebeek Mountain, shaped like eponymous snake. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Skerpioen 2020

(95 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: White blends, wooded, dry

50/50 chenin/palomino from one 60 year old parcel near Swartland’s Atlantic coast. 2020 notable, headily fresh salty sea breeze, lime expression. Agile, with a cool linearity highlighting youthful vibrant flavours & early accessibility. Sound structure promises future rewards. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Skurfberg 2020

(96 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: Chenin blanc wooded, dry

Another drought-induced limited crop from these three chenin blocks in Olifants River - 2020’s stunning quality compensates. Tightly built & with great intensity, the ripe peach & tropical flavours soar, carried with agility on racy acid backbone. Demands time. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Soldaat 2020

(95 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: Grenache noir

From ungrafted, dryland bushvine grenache in Piekenierskloof. 2020 concentrated, with dense ripe flesh & fine tannins supporting vivid wild strawberry, earthy depths. Leaf trimming for sunlight, portion destemmed pivots quality shift in this ageworthy wine ex concrete ‘egg’. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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Sadie Family Wines Treinspoor 2020

(95 pts)

Old Vine Series
Category: Tinta barocca

From dryland tinta barocca bushvines, 2020 like 2019 (4.5 stars, 94 pts) doesn’t fight shy of tannin - ongoing learning curve ensures riper, more cohesive structure; Eben Sadie still urges ‘age this wine’. Totally engaging is the floral lift to the plummy, earthy complexity. Complete & masterly. Aged in old foudres, as all these unless noted. More 

Wine tasted by Angela Lloyd.


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