David & Nadia Sadie, David 'Aristargos', Swartland, South Africa 2017

David and Nadia Aristargos 2017.jpg
David and Nadia Aristargos 2017.jpg

David & Nadia Sadie, David 'Aristargos', Swartland, South Africa 2017


“Superb.” - Neal Martin, Vinous

This is the eighth incarnation of David and Nadia’s Aristargos and it feels like it has finally found its identity. It’s a blend of six different southern French grape varieties and has always been a stylish wine, but it has sometimes reminded us of that Pirandello play, ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’. With this release, it has really come together as a proud Cape blend, showing a cool and silky elegance with yellow orchard fruits, honeysuckle, toasted hazelnuts and a little flinty minerality, which you could argue evokes white Burgundy, but surely it’s time to give the Swartland its due. 13% alc. Drink now-2026.

Press review:

Neal Martin: “The 2017 Aristargos is a blend of several white varieties from 14 different vineyards that includes Marsanne for the first time. It is whole-bunch-pressed, with the Sémillon kept on its skins for a few days and then matured in 300-liter used barrels for 12 months. It has a vivacious bouquet of yellow plum, mirabelle and jasmine aromas, all wonderfully defined. The palate is well balanced with a waxy texture and notes of stone fruit, sesame, walnut and orange peel . A very subtle flor-like element lends tension on finish. Superb.” 92 points

Tim Atkin MW: “Is the whole more complex than the sum of its parts? The answer on this cuvée of Chenin Blanc and five other varieties is surely yes. Rich, yet focused, with the perfume and texture of the 14% Viognier adding disproportionately to the blend, but balanced by acidity and notes of wild herbs. 2019-2024.” 94 points

Jancis Robinson MW: “First vintage was 2010. David and Nadia say that it’s the one wine of theirs that has made an impact in the UK. From 14 different vineyards ­­– including fruit from two of their single vineyards. Harvested at different times and split into 20 different lots. Marsanne, plus Roussanne, Clairette, Crouchen (planted in 1960), Sémillon (planted in 1972) and Viognier. The Crouchen and Sémillon have some skin contact. Mainly stored in small oak casks.
Broad, floral, rich nose with an added twist from the Marsanne. Very layered and dense. Already enjoyable in a citrus cough sweet sort of way.” 17+ points

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Farming: organic, biodynamic