The Tempus 2020 wine is a 100% Paardeberg Syrah and was released to us by Sadie Family Wines at the same time as their 2019 Columella and Palladius and 2020 Ouwingerdreeks series. Just 600 bottles were produced.
During a recent chat with Eben Sadie regarding the highly anticipated release of new vintages from Sadie Family Wines, we touched on the latest Tempus wine as it’s released from the winery at the same time. Eben remarked: “I sneaked your Tempus wine into a [blind] tasting of top Syrah…all I am saying is that there is a very good wine coming your way.”
Of the 600 bottles produced, we have kept a small portion aside to share on offer here today.
“The story goes like this.
There is a very unique block of Syrah that is planted in the Paardeberg on soil that is very high in calcium and clay content, and the soil is super heavy. The soil is by far one of the more complex to farm for it dries out quickly and likewise, becomes unworkable with the minimum amount of rain – the days that one can actually cultivate the soil comes down to 3 days in Spring and 3 days in Autumn. For the rest of the time, this vineyard is pretty much hands-off!
The vines have a very restrictive growth pattern, and the grapes ripen very early. This 2020 vintage was picked on the 4th of February 2020. Only one ton was picked for this Great Domaines production.
It is, of all the reds bottled to date for the GD project, easily the most serious of wines and it is a great drop.”
Eben Sadie | June 2021
Tempus 2020 Syrah
The grapes were filled into tanks after sorting them between 50% whole cluster and 50% destemmed. Fermentation was left to take place naturally over 5 weeks. The juice only underwent light bucket-overs, no punch-downs. Following fermentation, the wine was basket-pressed and aged in amphora and a very small portion of additional wine in a third-fill cask. The wine was bottled in January 2021. This wine is drinking well now, but will benefit hugely from a couple of years in bottle.
Orders are limited to 6 bottles per person, per order
The story behind Tempus
A few years ago, Great Domaines began entertaining the idea of making its own wine to give its European producers a bottle on each annual visit. With the high calibre of wine being made in South Africa, this wine of ours was of course going to be South African and we, therefore, formed a partnership with one of the country’s best producers, Sadie Family Wines.
The name “Tempus” (the Latin word for time) was chosen to honour the processes of growing vines, making wine, cellaring it and building relationships in order to share it. Each wine in the Tempus series is made as a one-off, on an annual basis and in very limited quantities.
To date, we have released a 2015 Grenache Noir, a 2016 Chenin Blanc, a 2017 Syrah (all from the Swartland) and a 2019 Chenin Blanc from Paarl. The average production of each wine has been between 500 and 700 bottles as we have a single concrete egg situated in the Sadie Family winery used to vinify each vintage.
“Sometimes things come across your path in a year of viticulture and you say: “Wow, this is incredible”. Or you go out and you see a vineyard and you say to yourself you wish you could have worked with this. But you know that every time you feel like this you cannot just start a new wine. The Tempus project with Great Domaines for me is fantastic because it allows us every year to make something that is special and to get the blood pumping again.”
Eben Sadie | July 2020
Account Manager | WSET – Level 3