It was with much excitement and pride that Groote Post, the historic West Coast farm owned by the Pentz family, released their limited-edition maiden Seasalter in 2015 – their flagship Sauvignon with a Semillon component and a touch of oak. The Darling Hills are blessed with deep, high clay content soils, gracious southern slopes and cooling winds off the icy Atlantic only 6 km away… the perfect terroir conditions for Sauvignon Blanc, which has been Groote Post’s standout varietal since its maiden release in 1999. It was therefore fitting that a Sauvignon Blanc would emerge as Groote Post’s flagship white wine.
The Seasalter 2015, a West Coast Story in a Bottle, was an immediate hit with wine lovers. There was so much to love about this wine: the elegance and purity of fruit, vibrant acidity, oyster shell minerality and saline finish, so typical of Sauvignons from the unique maritime cool-climate Darling Hills terroir; the charming name that captured the essence of the wine; and the refreshing distinctive label that visually portrayed the West Coast soul of the wine.
The stature of the Seasalter was confirmed when the 2019 vintage earned a Top 10 placing at the 2019 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition. Seasalter followers were eager to enjoy the many pleasures of this iconic Groote Post wine.
Naturally Seasalter fans are enthusiastically awaiting the release of the 2020 Seasalter, which is going to be launched via a Facebook Live Video broadcast (www.facebook.com/GrootePost) on Wednesday 30 September at 18h00. Your hosts will Nick Pentz, Peter Pentz and winemaker Lukas Wetzel. Debbie McLaughlin from Hilda’s Kitchen will be preparing a special West Coast dish to enjoy with the Seasalter. The broadcast will be 30 minutes long. Viewers are encouraged to interact and send in questions which will be answered at the end of the show. Seasalter supporters are invited to follow Groote Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #Seasalter2020 to participate in the lead-up to this exciting virtual launch, where there will be stunning prizes to be won.
In the Vineyard: After four years of experimenting with the 40ha of Sauvignon Blanc grapes on the farm, we have identified 10ha of high lying south facing vineyards. Here the cooling ocean breezes from the icy Atlantic ensure perfect conditions for slow ripening, allowing the grapes to develop their intense flavours, complexity and finesse – exactly the style we want to capture for our Seasalter. The grapes were hand-picked in the cool early hours of the morning to retain optimum freshness and fruit flavours.
In the Cellar: At the cellar we sorted the grapes by hand before crushing. Only the free-run juice was used after 10 to 12 hours of skin contact. 20% of the Sauvignon Blanc was fermented and aged for 4 months in 300 litre French Oak barrels (80% new). The remaining components were fermented in stainless steel tanks and left on the fine lees.
Tasting Notes: Groote Post’s 2020 Seasalter Sauvignon Blanc – partially wooded with a Semillon component – is a beautifully composed complex wine with the Sauvignon’s zesty acidity and vibrancy perfectly balanced by the richer notes and fuller mouth feel added by the Semillon component. The Seasalter is wonderfully expressive on the nose exuding fragrant bell pepper nuanced by blackcurrant and granny smith apple with subtle aromas of kelp and passionfruit. This complex and integrated nose follows through onto the palate with captivating flavours of grapefruit and zesty lime acidity with hints of fynbos, sea-breeze and a touch of oak. Rich layered and long, this subtly powerful blend is intense but not weighty: an elegant well-balanced wine showing typical Darling minerality, vibrant acidity and some leesy complexity before a saline finish.
Food: The Seasalter is an excellent food wine, best enjoyed with West Coast seafood of course.
Purchase: Available from the Groote Post cellar door, online at https://groote-post-wines.myshopify.com and at select fine wine merchants around the country. Approximate retail price: R150
The Name: When we were launching our limited-release maiden 2015 Seasalter, we wanted to come up with the perfect name to portray our unique terroir: the icy Atlantic, waves crashing on broken shells, invigorating salty sea mist, kelp and minerality. It was my wine travels to the UK that surprisingly provided the answer. I happened to visit a tiny medieval village in the Canterbury District of Kent, by the name of Seasalter, which had been a centre for salt production in the Iron Age. I knew immediately that Seasalter was the ideal name for our new flagship Sauvignon as it superbly captured the essence of our wine in one word,” reflects Nick Pentz.
The Packaging: And the Seasalter’s distinctive design followed suit, thanks to the expertise of Anthony Lane Design Consultancy, providing a visual connection to the West Coast soul of the Seasalter: the pristine turquoise waters of the Atlantic, the simplicity of the wind-swept coastline, the weathered white-washed fishing villages, the seagulls calling from above.
A VISIT TO GROOTE POST
Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the historic Groote Post farm presents a rustic and rural atmosphere with undulating hills, vast open spaces and warm country hospitality. In addition to a wide range of award-winning wines, Hilda’s Kitchen’s superb culinary experience and Farm Drives through the private game camp and vineyards, Groote Post also offers picnics; a child-friendly area with a jungle gym and rolling lawns; a superb wedding venue; beautiful views of the Atlantic coast and Table Mountain; nature walks; bird-watching in the hide on the dam and spectacular West Coast flowers in spring.