I’ve been lucky to attend several tastings of Saronsberg wines this year. Most of them involved tasting latest vintage release wines for 2014 and a most memorable vertical tasting of 10 vintages of their Shiraz. However, having received a lovely gift pack with three wines from their Provenance range, which we opened and enjoyed outdoors with friends this past weekend, I felt it imperative to share this possibly lesser known range from this Tulbagh producer.
The passing of a decade since the establishment of Saronsberg Cellar is being celebrated with a dramatic new label for their Provenance range of award-winning wines. Depicting work by sculptor Angus Taylor, the label continues a tradition to recognise great art and the art in making great wine. Aptly named ‘From Earth, From Water’, Taylor’s sculpture is an imposing 2.5m tall and rises from the water’s edge in front of the Saronsberg Cellar. She was created in 2004 and portrays a serene earth mother, presiding over the spirit of nature, the fertility of the farm soils and the well-being of Saronsberg’s wines.
Its depiction on the wine label follows iconic artwork by Paul du Toit, which heralded the birth of Provenance. The link between art and this particular wine range is not co-incidental. The word ‘provenance’ refers to origin and Saronsberg’s wines are crafted as artworks of nature reflecting the vineyards and soils it was crafted from giving it a rich, distinctive heritage.
Saronsberg was acquired in 2002. The following year, a devastating fire led to the establishment of new vineyards and the appointment of winemaker Dewaldt Heyns. ‘The main similarity between the Saronsberg and Provenance ranges is their inherent quality,’ says Heyns. ‘In philosophy and style the two ranges are completely different. Our vineyards are situated on diverse terroir units found on the two farms that together form Saronsberg – Waveren and Welgegund.
‘The Provenance range enables us to not only showcase the diversity of our vineyards, but also to offer the wine lover a greater diversity of choice. The consistency with which it wins awards affirms its inherent quality.’
An important attribute of the Provenance wines is the development of the vineyards and style over time, since the first bottling. ‘The youthfulness and exuberance of the young vines has matured,’ says Van Huyssteen. ‘Vintages on, these wines have developed depth and complexity putting Provenance on par with the reputation of our Saronsberg range.’
Currently available under the Provenance label are:
Saronsberg Provenance Earth in Motion 2014, a fruit-driven blend of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc that sells for only R60 per bottle
Saronsberg Provenance Shiraz Rosé 2014, R45 per bottle
Saronsberg Provenance Shiraz 2012, R100 per bottle
Saronsberg Provenance Rooi 2011, a Bordeaux-style blend selling for R115 per bottle