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Tom Cannavan

Review of our wines by Tom Cannavan

It is a year and a half that leading UK wine writer and journalist, Tom Cannavan, wrote about us and our Overberg wines. South African Wines are coming on leaps and bounds, year on year, and some amazing quality wines are being made throughout the different wine regions of the country. Talented winemakers are at the forefront of this quality drive and we are pleased just to be a part of this exciting wine country. Watch this space as South African wine farms continue their drive for excellence.

 

Read below what Tom wrote about our wines in his Wine Pages website http://wine-pages.com/tasting-articles/seven-springs-south-africa/

 

Seven Springs, South Africa

by Tom Cannavan, 07/14

 

bottleIt’s a couple of years since I last reported on the wines of Seven Springs vineyard from South Africa, the project of British husband and wife team, Tim and Vaughan Pearson. Since buying the land in 2006, the Seven Springs team has made great progress. Though immediately impressive, the wines have been improving steadily under young winemaker Riana van der Merwe and vineyard manager Peter Davison. Tim contacted me recently to let me know how delighted he was that the wines had picked up Bronze medals in the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards (for their two Chardonnays) and a Gold medal for their Syrah.

 

Subsequently, Tim arranged for samples of their latest releases to be sent to me by their English importer Great Estates (in Scotland the wines are distributed by L’Art du Vin). It is an impressive portfolio of wines without a doubt, each well-made but also very nicely pitched between savoury, serious and food-friendly character and very vivid and highly drinkable varietal expressions. The Seven Springs vineyard is in the Hemel en Aarde Valley, between the towns of Hermanus and Caledon, with ocean influence and the typical ‘Bokkeveld’ shale soils of the region. “When we think of how much progress we have made since buying the land in 2006 we have to pinch ourselves,” says Tim. “It is the effort, skills and hard work of Riana and Peter that have made this happen. Having a vision is one thing, taking a risk another, but without the abilities of everyone involved none of this would be possible.”

 

the wines

 

white wines

 

Seven Springs Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc 2012, South Africa
As with their earlier releases, this is a Sauvignon Blanc that nods towards Europe as much as it does towards New Zealand in terms of its pitch and style. The nose is relatively subdued, offering citrus and a creamy suggestion of roundness and concentration. On the palate there is only a trace of elderflower or gooseberry herbaceousness – this Sauvignon seems to be more about texture and cool orchard fruit character, with a lovely freshening thrust of lemon and lime in the finish. 89/100. £10.75, Amps Fine Wine. See all stockists on wine-searcher.com.

 

Seven Springs Vineyard, Unoaked Chardonnay 2012, South Africa
This wine vied with others in the Seven Springs portfolio as my most enjoyable. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, it is its ripeness and lees contact that gives such a lovely aroma: crushed almond melds with lemon-meringue pie, all sorts of luscious hints, but with a core of steely precision. On the palate it is full-textured and weighty, with fat lemon and lime fruit and fruit-skin tang, lots of those waxy peel notes and lovely length and concentration. Hints of spices and honeyed sweetness play against savoury and decisive, dry acidity in the finish. 91/100. £12.99, Wineyard & Deli (Lancashire). See all stockists on wine-searcher.com.

 

Seven Springs Vineyard, Chardonnay 2011, South Africa
This cuvée was fermented in second- and third-fill, 300-litre barrels, 20% American and 80% French, using a combination of wild and commercial yeasts. It aged a further 11 months on the lees in barrel. There is more overt oak influence than on the 2010, with toast and a whisper of Jack Daniels, all nicely nutty with a rounded lime and apple fruitiness beneath. On the palate it is a big wine with over 14% alcohol, but the acidity tempers that, and there is no sense of tropical über ripeness. There is good fruit sweetness through the mid-palate, and the oak does not dominate the finish, it adds only a gentle spice and buttery toast to the clean, mineral-etched flavours. A very different wine from the unoaked 2012, and delicious. 91/100. £15.25, Amps Fine Wine. See all stockists on wine-searcher.com.

 

red wines

 

 

Seven Springs Vineyard, Syrah 2012, South Africa
Seven Springs Syrah was excellent in the previous 2010 vintage, but I confess that this Gold Medal winner is even better and is a hugely promising portent as the vines age. Deep and vibrant in colour, the nose is just gorgeous, the wisp of cracked stone, the slick of black fruit and the background of flowers – violet creams even – white pepper and gentle earthiness. The palate is flooded with ripe, silky black fruit, but not at all jammy or overblown. Despite 14.5% alcohol, this has genuine freshness with a crispness to the tannin and acid framework, and the pin-point precision of the black fruit pushing through in a finely-tuned finish. 92/100. £14.50, bouchonwinebar.com. See all current stockists on wine-searcher.com.

 

Seven Springs Vineyard, Young Vines Pinot Noir 2012, South Africa
Fear not that this is boldly declared as ‘young vines’. ‘Old Vines’ doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality, and believe me, this second vintage of wild yeast-fermented Pinot is fragrant and rich, with a touch of game and blood, solid plummy fruit and just a glimpse of more delicate floral and woodland nuances. It is juicy and savoury, the 10 months in older oak adding some clove and smokiness to really sweet fruit, a glimpse of raspberry ripple softness, but that plum and briar character and the 14% alcohol give it flesh and substance. Finishing on natural spice and deep-set fruit, it is a lovely Pinot in a more solid style, but not without elegance. 90-91/100. £15.75, Amps Fine Wine. See all stockists on wine-searcher.com.

 

 

Gold Sticker

Decanter World Wine Awards 2014

Gold StickerWe are proud to announce that we achieved three excellent awards from the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards. Having decided to enter our Syrah 2012 and our two Chardonnays (oaked 2011 and un-oaked 2012) we were absolutely delighted with getting a GOLD award for our 2012 Syrah and BRONZE for the two Chardonnays. To put this into context it is like winning a medal in the Olympic Games, well in wine terms. As our vines are still very young (the syrah and chardonnay vines were 4.5 years old when the grapes were picked) we are really ‘over the moon’ with the way our vineyard and wines are developing. Testimony for this goes to Riana van der Merwe, our young winemaker, and Peter Davison, our vineyard manager. It is the hard work and dedication of the two of them that has enabled us to achieve this is such a short space of time.

 

SEVEN SPRINGS SYRAH 2012 and OVER THE MOUNTAIN SYRAH 2012 – DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS GOLD http://www.decanter.com/dwwa/wine/713/Seven+Springs-Syrah-2012 The Decanter description for this wine reads:-

“Has opened up nicely to show lovely ripe blueberry fruits with some violets and spice. Lovely fleshy style but with substance, black fruits, fine grained tannins and very well balanced. Has surprising length. I think could develop a lot further still.”
Decanter gold Syrah 2012 001
medal-gold
Two syrahs
SEVEN SPRINGS CHARDONNAY 2011 AND OVER THE MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2011
The Decanter description of this wine reads:-
“A rounded, smooth style with a good tropical fruit character. Toffee notes and a touch of burnt match, but with good elegance and a medium finish.”
Decanter bronze Chardonnay 2011 001
medal-bronze
Chardonnays in a bowl
SEVEN SPRINGS UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2012 and OVER THE MOUNTAIN UNOAKED CHARDONNAY 2012
The Decanter description of this wine reads:-
“Leaner style drive of mineral, struck match and crisp apple acidity. Concentrated but understated with lovely ripe citrus, tangerine and lemon zest. Fresh and lively.”
Decanter bronze Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 001
medal-bronze
uoc, shell, protea, glass

What we’ve been up to.

We have been very busy here at Seven Springs and it doesn’t look like the sudden winter here in the Overberg is going to slow us down.  If you thought it was still Autumn, well guess again. The leaves might be golden, but the mountain tops are getting their first dusting of powdery white snow.

Benson in the Autumn Syrah vineyards

Benson in the Autumn Syrah vineyards

Recently we had a promotion at a local Italian restaurant, Fabio’s Ristorante, with great success. As part of celebrating the success of the promotion, but also to thank the team at Fabio’s we had a lovely tasting on the farm, even though it was windy.

Annie, Fabio, Wietske and Johan

Annie, Fabio, Wietske and Johan

What a great team and great support from the local community in Hermanus. They are the only authenic Italian restaurant in Hermanus and should be on your list of places to dine, have a look on http://www.fabios.co.za/. Who knows, maybe you can enjoy a glass of Seven Springs when you are there!

We have also been very busy marketing our wines in the Overberg with Swellendam the newest area you can find our wines. Schoone Oordt, a five star guesthouse serving our Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir to their patrons. With a great team of people involved in the guesthouse, Swellendam and Schoone Oordt ( http://www.schooneoordt.co.za) is a real gem and worth spending the night if you ever feel like being treated like instant family.  Our wines are also for sale at De Keldermeister in town and on your way to Swellendam you can stop in Riviersonderend and buy our wines at The Wine Rack.

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This week we had our annual Tradeshow with distrubutor Siris Vintners – Siris About Wine. This year the show went underground with the event taking place in the basement of the Upper East Side Hotel, creating an intimate tasting environment where it felt like you were in a barrel cave. Trade and wineries could connect and talk about all things wine. All-in-all a very enjoyable event and successful to boot. We also got to show off the fact that our 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2011 Oaked Chardonnay both won a Bronze Medal at the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards.

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Siris Tradeshow 2014

Harvest report to follow soon. It was a tough 2014 vintage and I think I’m still recovering like most viticulurists and winemakers in South Africa. Also be on the look out for upcoming news on the building of our own winery and tasting room on the farm. 2014 is a big year for us and it is all thanks to our local and global support, so thank you to you all.

Cheers

Winemaker Riana

 

 

Syrah 2010 sm

Syrah 2010

Seven Springs Syrah 2010 technical Description
This Syrah, produced in our vineyard’s cool ocean influenced climate, is refined, delightfully complex and truly fragrant. Produced from very young vines, the wine was aged for 12 months in second and third year French oak barrels. This ensures the oak influences are understated and allow the opulent dark cherry and red berry flavours to dominate, along with hints of pepper and spice. On the palate it is rich and textured.

 Reviews
The Wine Gang: The Wine Gang in the UK wrote this about our Syrah on the 17th July 2012.
Seven Springs, Syrah 2010
Overberg (South Africa) Red (Screwcap) 14% ABV
Seven Springs burst onto the scene with an excellent Sauvignon Blanc last year, but this Syrah from young vines planted in the Overberg region is new. The nose is opulently rich and crammed with plum and red berry fruit. Ageing in older French barrels adding some spice and delicate smokiness, with a hint of  crisply-grilled bacon fat. On the palate it is fresh and vibrant, with real depth but bounding youthfullness and ocean-influenced clarity. 90/100
TweetCritique: The instantaneously recognisable aroma of black cherries was amazing, fairly young for a Syrah no doubt but the almost cherry menthol flavour was sublime, the lingering cherry aftertaste testament to a fine wine. The Seven Springs wine collection I tasted belied their maturity. Each wine held a surprise of its own. The construction of the wine is bold and creative and in my opinion Seven Springs wine is bound to grow even further in its popularity.
Joanna Simon – Wine and Food
Glenda Van Blerk  –  CapeTownWineBlog
Colin Smith – Grapefan
Mike Matthews, Magics Wine Guide

 Technical analysis
Do you need more information on the specific wine? Download our technical sheet
Seven Springs Syrah 2010

 Video Reviews

Short video review by Simon Woods

 Other Videos
Here is a short video of what you can expect from the 2012 vintage in future

London International Wine Fair May 20th 2010 – part 2

Day 2 – Thursday May 20th – The second day began with Kim and Tim meeting with Jo Wehring, UK Market Manager  for  Wines of South Africa (WOSA),  www.wosa.co.za. Jo discussed ways that WOSA could be of a help to us in helping to eastablish our brand / wines here in the UK. WOSA were also hosting a South African Chenin Blanc tasting which highlighted the success that South Africa is having with this versatile varietal. Onwards to a tasting on the Seckfords Agencies stand,  www.seckfordagencies.co.uk, for the second time with Peter Finlayson where we tasted his complete range of stunning wines. Here we were joined again by Tara O’Leary, http://winepassionista.com/, and Lynda Harvey, www.thewineplace.co.uk. Lynda has been a keen follower of Seven Springs Vineyard and is opening a wine shop in Berkshire in the near future. We then spent some time looking at different screw enclosures for future use with our wines. After a brief lunch we met with ex sommelier Richard Mitton from Worthing who hopes to set up a wine shop in Sussex later this year. Our next port of call was a tasting with Hein Koegelenberg, http://heinkoegelenberg.typepad.com/blog/, CEO of La Motte, www.la-motte.com, and owner of Leopards Leap Wines, www.leopards-leap.com. Hein gave us a fantastic tour of the La Motte winery when we were in the Cape in March and again tasting his range of wines here confirmed them as real class acts. The Pierneef range in particular standing out, if you like syrah / shiraz then get your hands on a bottle or two of these wines. Lastly, but not least, we tasted the wines from the De Wetshof Estate from Robertson, www.dewetshof.com. Brothers Peter, winemaker, and Johan de Wet, Sales and Marketing, are well known to us and their range of Chardonnays are always well received.

We left the show tired but encouraged. The band of South African wine producers are a great bunch of people and we feel proud to become one of them.

Article about Seven Springs Vineyard by Tara Devon

Ex Sommelier, now wine writer, blogger and wine ‘passionista’, Tara Devon, has written an article on Seven Springs Vineyard on her blog. Check out Tara’s work on the link below. Thanks for the article Tara and your passion for South African wine really shows. Once our wines are ready for tasting we will get some bottles to you for a tasting and a review.

http://winepassionista.com/2010/03/17/spotlight-on-south-africa/#more-168

Seven Springs appoints winemaker (10/01/2010)

Seven Springs is pleased to announce the appointment of Riana van der Merwe as winemaker. Riana comes highly recommended to us by friends Guillaume Nell, winemaker at Backsberg Cellar Estate (http://www.backsberg.co.za) and Corina du Toit, Sales and Marketing Manager at Eikendal Vineyards in Stellenbosch (http://www.eikendal.com). Riana will be responsible for making our first wines and we are confident she will respond to the challenge, she has our full support.

25 year old Riana said ” This is a fantastic opportunity for me to be able to work with Tim and Vaughan and to be able to make their dreams come true. I am proud to be associated with such positive people and I will do my level best to ensure we make some of South Africa’s best wines as the potential is definitely here”