More Shit You Need to Know About
Yes, this is a spirits blog, but really it's a resource dedicated to the art of drinking and all of its glories. I wouldn't be doing my job as an advocate for boozing of all types if I didn't tell you about this stupid, ridiculous deal that our wine buyer Ryan Woodhouse just pulled off. I would feel like a fraud if I let this go unpublished, despite the fact that this is not my category or my deal. K&L just got a container in of direct import wines from the Southern Hemisphere and Ryan may have pulled off the biggest coup of the year in these Sequillo wines. It's a huge fucking deal and I'm going to do my best to convey the significance of these two South African wine bottles pictured above.
To help explain exactly what's going on, let's go back a few weeks to our post from Berry Bros & Rudd in London.
Do you remember this photo from the blog a few weeks back? It's a picture of Doug McIvor standing in front of the window at Berry Bros & Rudd, where David OG and I visited recently on our trip to the UK. Rather than focus on Doug this time around, however, I want you to look at the photo on the bottom right of the frame. It's a small picture of winemaker Eben Sadie sitting on a tractor near his vineyard in South Africa. There's a reason that the most reputable retailer of wine in the UK has a photo of this man on their front window. It's because Eben Sadie is one of the most talented and in-demand winemakers in the entire world right now (in fact, Doug and I were talking about him as I snapped this picture). He's the guy that every retailer who knows anything about wine wants to be doing business with. That's why BBR is bragging about their association with him on their St. James's Street window front. He's a big deal.
Let me share with you the write-up that Ryan just sent me: Eben Sadie is probably the most revered winemaker in South Africa. He just picked up his second Winemaker of the Year award and his wines sell out upon release every year. In fact, we have to fight tooth and nail just to get a few six packs of his legendary "Old Vine Series". That is why we are so excited to be working direct and exclusively with Eben to import one of his other projects: Sequillo. Eben is first and foremost a farmer. He truly lives in the vineyard believing that organic/biodynamic, hand-tending of his vines is far more important than making interventionist adjustments in the cellar. His wines are pretty close to being "natural wines" utilizing only ambient yeast ferments, natural malo, no fining or filtration and very minimal sulphur additions. His wines are true representations of place and season without the heavy handed fingerprints some winemakers leave.
This is what the Wine Spectator said about him: “There is no doubting both the sensory and intellectual attributes of Swartland wines produced by the likes of Sadie…They appeal to the new generation of wine consumers and sommeliers who demand top-quality wine, ideally crafted by a cool hipster-cum-artisan that goes surfing at weekends, and not some retired oil magnate who in a pique of boredom splashed out on a lifestyle winery so that he can brag about it down at the clubhouse.”
Eben is a dude's dude and everyone who meets him knows it. Although after reading this, Ryan leaned over to me and said: Though I totally get what Neal Martin is saying here (and think it’s pretty funny) I have to add that Eben must have cringed at this comment…he HATES to be called a “hipster”…and surfs whenever the waves are good, not just at the weekends!
Sometimes hyperbole isn't enough to get your point across. Shouting "This is the BEST, ever, ever, ever, ever!" wouldn't really even do these wines justice. The quality of Eben Sadie's wines speaks for itself, but usually you'll have to pony up about $40-$60 a bottle to test out that quality for yourself. Somehow, someway, our wine buyer Ryan Woodhouse worked out a deal to bring in Sadie's Sequillo wines direct: for $19 freakin' 99!!! That's just unreal. It’s about half of what they should cost. The Sequillo white is like elegance in a bottle. It's soft and seamless, yet never lacking in acidity or minerality. I took a bottle of his T'Voetpad white (the single vineyard version of this wine) to my anniversary dinner with my wife this year. She fawned over that bottle like a school girl at a New Kids on the Block concert in 1989. Get a bottle of this wine. Get two cases. Get in while it's here. ASAP. You won't be sorry. The Sequillo red blend is soft, juicy, incredibly balanced, and elegant in its profile. It's a testament to quality winemaking and dedicated vineyard practices that manifests itself clearly in the bottle. You won't wonder one bit why Even Sadie is a superstar after tasting this bottle. You'll be wondering why you didn't buy another ten cases for your cellar.
We are the only store in the United States with these wines. Ryan went surfing with Eben on a trip to the region and the two happened to hit it off while riding the waves and talking about booze. It was huge victory for K&L. These wines are a testament to what we do best as a company. Imagine if we landed a cask of Yamazaki for like $40 a bottle, or a barrel of Weller for $14.99. That’s pretty much the whiskey equivalent of what’s happening below, and it's a testament to Ryan's skill and knowledge as a wine buyer. He's doing for Australia, New Zealand, and South African wines what David OG and I have done for the spirits department: bring you the most exciting things to drink on the entire planet for prices you can afford. That's some news-worthy shit. It's some shit you need to know about.
2012 Sequillo Red Blend (Eben Sadie) Swartland South Africa $19.99 - A blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca. Sourced from vines (many of them old) planted on schist, granite and gravelly soils. Fermented (wild) in large cement tanks and left on skins for six weeks before being basket pressed to large format wood casks for 12 months and another 12 months in cement tank. The wine has pure, bright aromatics of deep, spicy crushed berries, ripe currants, red fleshy plum, granite, and toasted spices and dark red floral tones. The wine is rich and layered but precise and focused. The fruit shows macerated raspberries, logan fruit, dark cherry hints with subtle leather, charred meat and dusty mineral tones showing through the purity of fruit. There is an intense soil quality to this wine that is equally impressive as the quality and fruit and floral tones. A complex wine that I love for its combination of power, purity and subtlety.
2013 Sequillo White Blend (Eben Sadie) Swartland South Africa $19.99 - Phenomenal white wine. The nose is dominated by ripe, roasted orchard fruit, poach pears, preserved apricot and yellow peach. On the palate the wine has a rich, round palate weight, a creamy dense texture that fills the mouth. Beyond the fruit profile there is wonderful savory lees character with toasted grains and pie crust nuances. Underpinning all of this is a dynamic minerality from the ancient decomposed granite soils of the region. A serious multidimensional wine that is rich and crowd pleasing in texture but also detailed, nuanced and bursting with minerality.