(2018) Emma is the daughter of Creation's owners, Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin, and at 10 years old she was given a barrel of prime Pinot which, with some help from her dad, was her project to make as she learned the fundamentals of winemaking. Only 300 bottles were produced, as a real one-off and, I guess this bottle was a collectors item (up until I opened it, that is). But what a lovely Pinot: soft ruby in colour, with a beguling mix of floral and rose-hip lifted aromatics, creamy-rich black fruits and an undertow of coffee. There's a charming, forward fruitiness on the palate too, backed up with coffee and spice, unruffled tannins and good cherry-skin, tart acidity. Not available to purchase at time of writing, though Slurp is one stockist of the regular Creation Pinots, and use the wine-searcher link to see others.
(2017) It's nice to see Walker Bay on a label, as this important area southwest of Cape Town was once the hottest name in the country for cool-climate varieties. But a few years ago a new appellation called Hemel-en-Aarde was created within the Walker Bay area, and most producers switched to using that. There's something retro about the label of this wine, which is fitting. It's a crisp, easy-drinking 'somewhere in the middle' style of Sauvignon Blanc that would please those looking for a bit of Kiwi-like vibrancy and punch, but with a sweet tropical fruit core that is tempered slightly with a more European feel.
(2015) This is part of a more upmarket range made by Newton Johnson, one of my personal favourites in the Cape. This 13.5% alcohol Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from "Cape South Coast" so there could be fruit from such cool areas as Walker Bay, Elgin and Elim in here, but no clues are given on the label. It is bottled with a DIAM cork. Delightful nose, relatively restrained and creamy (could there be a touch of oak here?) with tropical fruit character coming through and just a hint of green herbs and minerals. In the mouth the punch and verve of the Sauvignon really comes through, with lots of fresh-squeezed citrus, but very far removed from the passion fruit and 'sweaty' character that can sometimes detract. More Loire-like in style, but finishes with lovely crispness.
(2015) Newton Johnson again make this Chardonnay, a Wine of Origin Upper Hemel-en-Aarde, closed with a DIAM cork. It also has 13.5% alcohol. It has an alluring nose, the crushed oatmeal and almond of fine French oak, juicy stone fruits and a burgeoning sense of more tropical ripeness. There's an orange rind hint of tang too. On the palate it is beautifully done: the creamy richness of the oak and the substantial weight of sweet fruit fill the mouth, but it is alert and juicy, a fresh-squeezed lemon or grapefruit zestiness running straight through the mid-palate and extending into a long, spicy and fruity finish. Clean as a whistle and perfectly balanced, it's a lovely Chardonnay.
(2015) Again from the Newton Johnson winery and a Wine of Origin Walker Bay, this has a natural cork and 14% alcohol, and the blend is not specified. On the nose it is intense and peppery, with a very deep pool of blue/black fruit suggesting the Rhône, or perhaps more towards Australian Shiraz. A delightful wine on the palate: this has a medium-bodied lightness in the mouth, the fresh and juicy fruit is copious, but it retains a fine edge of freshness and an alert character. Chocolate and cream, and a little toast fill out against smooth tannins in the finish of a very nice wine.
(2013) All wild ferment, and Gordon says "it is worked very lightly, we are not going for a lot of extraction." Lovely light colour. Beautiful nose of soft truffle and gentle rhubarb and beetroot vegatility. Charming little smoky and tobacco influences and berry fruits. The palate has soft and elegant fruit, with delicious cherry and soft, dry red cranberry nuances. The finish balances the crispness of cherry acids, fruit and a touch of that earthy smokiness. Nicely maturing.
(2013) 14.1% abv, 37% new oak. From the only commercial Chardonnay vineyard in the country in Tulbagh/Ceres area that is planted on its own roots. "Short, hot and early vintage and quite challenging." Not quite so giving on the nose, less opulence to the fruit (though this is all relative in the context of these precise and quite steely wines), with orchard fruits and a touch of background nuttiness. On the palate the oak is perhaps a little more prominent than in other vintages, but not heavy or excessive, adding a glimpse of coffee and toast, some complexity here, the fresh and savoury quality of the nuttiness and the sour tang of the acidity is beautifully done. Terrific stuff for a 13 year old wine.
(2013) All Burgundian coopers, 33% new wood. Granite and clay soils, weathered to chalky texture. Careful hand sorting, both spontaneous an cultivated yeast, some in closed steel fermenters some in large oak, mostly whole berry. Pleasing colour and pleasing nose with some delicate coffee and earthiness, a dry cranberry fruit and delicate spices. On the palate this has medium body and it is in a lean, savoury and has a lemony freshness. Perhaps a touch more acidity or less fullness of fruit than I'd ideally want, but lovely citrus.
(2013) More custardy notes here, with the oak a little more obvious aromatically, the fruit seeming a little riper and more black fruited too. Lovely juiciness and a tighter profile, deliciously tight focus on the palate too, a sheen of oak giving just a little more focus and concentration. Deliciously long, arguably a little bigger.
(2013) The fruit for this wine comes from a farm next door the township in Elgin. Lovely fresh nose, with passionfruit and hints of guava and mango, with streaking freshness and beautiful, limpid texture, there is no overt green character, just a touch of soft green herb perhaps. Lovely palate, sweet, sweet fruit, with a beautifully refined and textured finish that is succulent.