Bernhard Bredell grew up in a winegrowing family. They had vines in the lower Heldeberg, in Stellenbosch around a granitic hill known locally as the Sinai Hill. But the family sold their vineyards. However, Bernhard decided that wine was for him, even if he no longer had the family vines to play with.
After training at Stellenbosch and travelling to do vintages in Europe (with Alain and Maxime Graillot in the Rhône and Beaujolais, and then in Priorat), Bernhard started making his Scions of Sinai wines in 2017. It’s a small project, and at its heart are these old dry-grown vines, many of which were planted by his grandfather, on granitic soils. These are deeply impressive wines.
Some of them are available from The Sourcing Table, and I declare an interest here as contributing editor.
Scions of Sinai Señor Tallos 2020 Western Cape, South Africa
This is a skin-fermented white blend of Chenin from Sinai Hill and Grenache Blanc from out of the region. Chenin gets four weeks on skins and Grenache Blanc three. Then the wine is aged for seven months, with some under flor. Complex nose of ripe pear and peach with a hint of apricot. The palate is lively and tangy with some structure. Lovely fruit here: very fine and expressive. 94/100
Scions of Sinai Nomadis 2020 Stellenbosch, South Africa
95% Cinsault, 5% Pinotage. Supple, elegant and fine with red cherry and strawberry fruit. Gentle with a hint of ginger in the background. A really elegant style with good purity. 94/100 (£24 The Sourcing Table)
Scions of Sinai Feniks 2020 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Pronounced ‘Phoenix’, this is a varietal Pinotage. The name comes from the fact that the grower was going to remove the vines, but Bernhard persuaded him not to. Sandy soils. Very fine, supple and fresh with pure cherry fruit and some nice chalky structure, and good acidity. This is very fine and expressive with nice weight and precision. Linear and refined, but also structured. 94/100 (£33.90 The Sourcing Table)
Scions of Sinai Atlantikas 2020 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is also Pinotage, from the same vineyard as Feniks. This is from shallower, sandy soil and this is harvested a few weeks earlier than the rest of the vineyard. Half the grapes are direct pressed, so there’s less extraction from the skins. Juicy and lively with bright fruit. Supple sweet cherry fruit with a nice sour cherry twist. Lively and vital with a bit of grip. 94/100
Scions of Sinai Swanesang 2020 Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is Syrah, grown as bush vine. Vivid colour. Sweetly fruited but very fresh with floral cherry notes. Bright and compact with a primary palate and lovely fruit purity. Nice sour cherry notes on the finish of this grippy, detailed wine. 95/100 (£33.90 The Sourcing Table)
UK agent: Indigo Wine
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