Grapes for our Straw Wine are sourced from the parcels of-old vine Chenin Blanc that give us the best acidity at harvest. The vines are planted in the stony Schist based soils of the Kasteelberg and the decomposed Granite based soils of the Paardeberg.
Each vintage, since 2008, we have held back a barrel or two of our Straw Wine and blended them together, refreshing the solera each year with the new vintages. Olerasay 2o is from barrels which have been fractionally blended for the vintages 2008 through 2019, producing many layers of complexity, nuttiness and depth. We have only bottled a portion of the Solera, and have kept a portion back to continue adding to for decades to come.
Bright golden straw in colour, with a rich, viscous appearance. The nose and palate is a complex, enticing blend of dried peaches, apricots, honey and marmalade, with a savoury nuttiness. The intense mouth-feel is balanced by a clean, fresh and very long finish.
The Olerasay 2° is 100% Chenin Blanc with 8.5% alcohol and 331g/l of residual sugar, not that you notice those figures. It was bottled on 17 January 2020. It is an ethereal wine that gives me no choice but to use a simple word loaded with meaning and one I rarely use with respect to wine…perfection. The 375ml bottle was examined over the course of two weeks during which time it barely changed. Each time I put it under a microscope looking for a fault. I never found one. Golden in colour, it has an intoxicating bouquet with orange sorbet, quince, lemon verbena and a very slight Aszú-like note that hovers in the background. Having recently tasted plenty of Sauternes, I can’t help noticing how the aromatics are unencumbered by a thick cloak of oak, thereby lending the bouquet brightness and vividness that is totally enthralling. This all translates across to the crystalline palate. The perfect seam of acidity cuts like an ancient Samurai sword through the viscous fruit whose purity is off the charts. This electrifying Olerasay does not mess about – it immediately thrills the senses with its mélange of blood orange, apricot, crushed minerals and passion fruit. There is so much energy in this wine. The finish has a weightless quality that means, despite its high residual sugar level, the wine is actually easy to drink and is not weighed down by its own unctuousness. The killer aspect of this is the soupçon of bitter orange that hits the back of the throat. I suspected that a perfect Olerasay was possible after the first iteration. This is it. Despite this being a Cellar Favorite, don’t feel you are committing a heinous crime popping the cork now because who knows where we will be by the end of 2020. Just bear in mind that this wine will last decades. 100/Drink 2020-2080.
“It is an ethereal wine that gives me no choice but to use a simple word loaded with meaning and one I rarely use with respect to wine… perfection.” 100 points, Neal Martin, Vinous