In Elgin: Corder Wines

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In Elgin: Corder Wines


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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One thought on “In Elgin: Corder Wines

  1. Dear Jamie
    I have been mulling over this for a while… but I think you ought to hear this, and think about it. You actually have to be grateful that the Earth is round, and it has gravitiy, so you do not spin off into space in your high-intensity spinning-around the world. Today it is Australia, but the write-up is actually done in South Africa or Canada, and the write up of that is from … Godonlyknowswherefrom.
    There is only so much spinning around the world before the “immersion” becomes discredited. For me as a reader, you are approaching this limit. Every now and then you show signs of thinking about various stuff, as if you stopped and started to think “what is it all about?” – but then you resume the high-speed flying-around-the-world. I am not sure this is good for you, and I am not sure this is good for the readers.
    And another thing, about your write-ups and points: you bascially operate in the range of 85-95 – OK, theoretically 100). Most of your scores are around the 90ies, give or take 1-2 points. (pse check, I have not, but this is my impression). This is bordering on the useless for the readers. It seems you do not want to be unkind to anyone, and I think this stems from your nature, not opportunism – but this is precisely what makes the advice less-than-useful.
    I hoipe the situation is not unsalvageabble, but it calls for thinking and action.
    Wishing you well

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