A little shy on the nose, but comes out shining on the palate. Lots of yellow fruit prominent toasted oats and very bright acidity. The wine is quite grippy and textured, the effect of the extended skin contact which gives the impression that you can almost chew on the wine. It is incredibly fresh and long on the finish. The texture opens a whole realm of possibility for what this wine can do with food. It almost dares you to be unconventional with your thinking. A slow roasted pork belly with caramelised baby onions perhaps.
The Op Sy Moer 2018 by Warren Ellis
“This is a proper wine geeks wine, experimental unconventional and hardly what you would expect from an established top tier Stellenbosh winery.”
Listen to Tinashe’s notes on this wine.
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More info about the wine
The adventure of looking for wines for Somm on call is pure excitement. Often you have no idea what you will end up stumbling across. I was at Neil Ellis looking for something with a bit of age that they still had in decent volumes that we could put out as an offer. Their wines have a great reputation for ageing gracefully. Then they showed the OpSy Mour and I thought it was exactly what I was looking for. It is a proper wine geeks wine, experimental unconventional and hardly what you would expect from an established top tier Stellenbosh winery. But as the team at Neil Ellis were quick to remind they have always been right at the forefront of innovation and experimentation. They were the first to make wine from Elgin fruit and one of the pioneers of the Négociant model in South Africa that is now so commonplace.
It is a three way blend of Grenache blanc, palomino and chenin blanc. It is made natural with no intervention and no additions whatsoever including sulphur. A portion is whole bunch fermented and kept on the skins for four months which adds a bit of grip to the wine. Now where it starts to cross into the realm of unconventional. The wine is not taken off the fine lees when bottling. What that basically means is that there is still a whole bunch of sediment in the bottle, and the wine would appear a little bit cloudy. Now to your normal wine drinker this is completely foreign, you pour a glass of white wine and it is cloudy and has things floating in it. However the purpose of this platform is to if nothing else is to open one’s mind to different possibilities.
The fine lees or sediment actually enhances the flavour of the wine typically giving character such as almond and hay. It also helps keep the wine fresh and alive.
If you can look beyond the cloudy appearance you will find this to be an incredible wine full of complexity and character.