Gabriëlskloof is near Bot River in the Overberg region, east of Cape Town. Bernhard Heyns first planted vines here in 2001, with the first vintage in 2009. The vineyards are farmed sustainably with the aim to move to organic farming in the future.
Then in 2015, Peter-Allan Finlayson took over as winemaker and the farm's wines have gone from strength to strength ever since. A scion of the great Finlayson winemaking family (his father Peter set up the Hamilton Russell vineyards, the first in Hemel-en-Aarde in 1981, before creating Bouchard Finlayson), Peter-Allan is one of the Cape's most celebrated young winemakers and this year he was crowned 'Winemaker of the Year' in Master of Wine Tim Atkin's annual South African Wine Report.
The Elodie is one of South Africa's top Chenins. It is made from grapes sourced from four old, dry-farmed vineyards that have never been irrigated. The yields are tiny (1-3 tons per hectare) but the quality is exceptional. The vineyards with planting dates are Contermanskloof in Durbanville (1975), and across the Swartland, Nuwedam (1974), Nuweland (1978) and Uitvlug (1982).
Naturally fermented in 400-500 litre old French oak barrels, it has great complexity and depth without any overt oak flavours.
Tim Atkin MW gave it 96 points and described it as "wonderfully ageworthy", with "amazing grip and minerality, with thatch, nutmeg and aniseed aromas, honey, baking spice and tarte tatin flavours and palate-cleansing acidity".
A beautiful bottle, a beautiful wine, and proof positive of South African Chenin's rightful position among the great fine wines of the world, while remaining incredible value for money.