I met Ian Corder (above) at Almenkerk, where his wines are made. [As an aside, he kindly offered to take me up in his autogyro to see the Elgin Valley from the air. You can read about this, and watch the video here.] The vineyard that is now Corder Wines was originally an apple farm when it was purchased by Ian and Annette Corder in 2003. At the time, there were lots of apple farms on the market, and this is the era when Elgin was growing as a wine region.
They planted the first of their 14 hectares of vineyard in 2004, and their original vision was to make top quality Sauvignon Blanc. ‘Everyone came here to do Sauvignon,’ explains Ian Corder. ‘People didn’t think they could ripen red grapes.’ So they have since planted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Viticultural assistance is provided by consultant Kevin Watt.
Ian sells a lot of his grapes to out-of-valley producers such as Boschendal and Eikendal. ‘The guys outside are looking for acidity.’
Corder Cool Climate Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Elgin, South Africa
Ripe, textured and fresh. Quite rich with nice pear and citrus fruit. Generous and broad with a bit of passionfruit richness. 89/100
Corder Cool Climate Chardonnay 2015 Elgin, South Africa
Lively and textural with some pith, sweet pear and apple fruit. There’s a touch of nuttiness here. Clean and precise with nice fruit character. Very appealing. 91/100
Corder Cool Climate Pinot Noir 2013 Elgin, South Africa
Clones 667 and 777. 8 year old vines, 2 hectares. Lively and spicy with cherries and plums, as well as ginger and pepper notes. Supple and spicy with nice focus. Lively stuff. 87/100
Corder Cool Climate Syrah 2013 Elgin, South Africa
Juicy and fresh with red cherry and plum character. Supple and berryish with some herbal hints. Juicy and fresh. 87/100
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