The 2018 vintage of Columella is testimony to the bigger dynamics a regional blend has access to: the challenges brought about by the drought were completely addressed in this multi-vineyard, multi-varietal wine from across the Swartland. This may be the darkest fruit we have ever been able to capture at 13.5% alcohol and with the presence of Syrah in decline in the final blend, the influence of Grenache, Cinsaut, Carignan and Tinta Barocca is more pronounced. Our Mourvèdre component is the strongest it has ever been.
This 2018 bottling is a wine with a big temperament: explosive, but not excessive. It is like a plane with perfect aerodynamics, flying effortlessly; very much in line with the 2001, 2008 and 2011. Ageing required.
“The percentage of Syrah decreases every year – it was once 80% and is now closer to 45% – allowing Eben Sadie to play with other Mediterranean grapes, namely Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca. Remarkably well balanced and refined given the heat and dryness of the vintage, this is scented, floral, nuanced red with red cherry and mulberry fruit, fine tannins and lift of stony minerality. One of the best ever Columellas. Drink 2023-32.”
Tim Atkin, 98 points