The wines of Oak Valley, Elgin
South Africa revisited part 20: one of the pioneering producers from Elgin

Pieter Visser

Oak Valley are one of the Elgin pioneers, planting their first experimental vineyards in 1985, although their first serious vineyards weren't planted until a few years later. It's an 1800 hectare farm, with most of the area devoted to fruit production. On the farm there are 48 hectares of vineyards.

I met with Pieter Visser, who was viticulturalist here, but who for the last 8 years has also been making the wines. Oak Valley only started making their own wines as recently as 2003, and still rent winery space from Paul Cluver. 


Oak Valley Mountain Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Elgin
From a low-yielding windy vineyard at 550 metres. Rich, sweetly fruited nose with subtle herby notes and nice minerality. The palate shows rich peach and pear fruit but also lovely freshness and purity, with a mineral edge. Just beginning to show some evolution. Lovely wine. 91/100

Oak Valley Chardonnay 2009 Elgin
A 20 year old vineyard. Natural fermentation, spending 9 months in 300 litre barrels, 20-40% new oak. Partial malolactic. Very fine, toasty nose is mealy and a bit bready with nice fruit focus. The palate is fresh with lovely taut citrus fruit and good acidity. Well balanced with subtle toasty oak. Very stylish and quite serious. 92/100

Oak Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Elgin
From a vineyard planted in 2000, which has never yielded more than 4 ton/hectare, with the main problem being baboons. This has a couple of days of cold soak and is pressed immediately after fermentation. Lovely bright, vivid aromatics with dark cherry and spice. Lively and full. The palate is fresh, supple and quite elegant with pure cherry and berry fruit. Stylish. 90/100

Part 1, Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards
Part 2, Cape Point Vineyards
Part 3, AA Badenhorst Family Wines
Part 4, Eben Sadie: Sadie Family Wines and Sequillo Cellars
Part 5, Paul Kretzel of Lammershoek
Part 6, Mullineux Family Wines
Part 7, Vondeling
Part 8, Scali
Part 9, Sterhuis
Part 10, Raats
Part 11, Migliarina
Part 12, Charles Back and Fairview
Part 13, Hermit on the Hill
Part 14, Klein Constantia
Part 15, Iona, Elgin
Part 16, Paul Cluver, Elgin
Part 17, Eagles' Nest, Constantia
Part 18, Anthonij Rupert
Part 19, Rupert & Rothschild
Part 20, Oak Valley, Elgin
Part 21, Shannon, Elgin
Part 22, Chamonix, Franschhoek

Wines tasted 10/10  
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