When Winemag.co.za in conjunction with Tonnellerie Saint Martin recently released their inaugural Pinot Noir Report, Creation Wines was delighted to find their 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir at the top of the list. There were 52 entries from 33 producers and Creation’s top score of 93 points won the estate a barrel of their choice from Tonnellerie Saint Martin.
According to Creation co-owner and winemaker, Jean-Claude (JC) Martin, Pinot Noir can be a fickle grape: difficult to grow and to vinify but with the potential to make great wines when grown in the right place and handled with care. The Walker Bay region where Creation is situated has long been famous for its Pinot Noir. The farm’s specific setting in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge combines close proximity to the cold Atlantic Ocean with an altitude of some 290 metres above sea level to offer cool conditions, ideal for the slow ripening of Pinot Noir.
“A fresh, beautifully textured, finesse-driven Pinot Noir relies on a cool climate and the sea breezes from the Atlantic have a defining influence on our terroir,” explains JC.
Having qualified as a viticulturist and winemaker in Switzerland, JC honed his skills on Pinot Noir and upon moving to South Africa bridged the gap between Old and New World winemaking to establish his own inimitable style. The estate presently offers three different Pinots: the Creation Pinot Noir, the Creation Reserve Pinot Noir and the Creation Art of Pinot Noir. Each wine brims with attitude, style and that indefinable secret ingredient that Pinot aficionados find so irresistible.
An impressive list of accolades affirms the quality of Creation’s Pinots. Apart from topping the Winemag.co.za Pinot Noir Report, the 2015 Reserve Pinot also recently scored 94+ in a vertical tasting done by Greg Sherwood MW. Greg is a regular judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards, SA Top 100, Nederburg Wine Auction and WOSA World Sommelier Awards, and tastes hundreds of the world’s finest wines every week. All seven Creation Pinots at the vertical tasting were allocated at least 90 points out of 100 with Greg describing his favourite 2015 vintage as follows:
. . . fantastically fragrant with lifted aromatics of spiced cherries, cranberries, and pomegranate, laced with a granitic minerality. Tannins are sweet and textural, balanced with concentrated fruit intensity. I love the exotic clove and cinnamon notes with an impressive, complex sappy finish. A really beautiful wine.
Additional praise for Creation Pinot Noir has come from the renowned British author and wine columnist, Jamie Goode. He scored the 2015 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir 92 and the 2015 Creation Art of Pinot Noir an even more impressive 95. Commenting on the latter wine Jamie said: “There’s wonderful balance here: it has fine cherries and plums with a nice spiciness . . . Lovely precision and structure . . .”
An equally enthusiastic Roland Peens (director of Wine Cellar, one of South Africa’s foremost importers and retailers of fine wines and a panellist for the Winemag.co.za Pinot Noir Report) tweeted: “Tasting through the wines again . . . 2015 Reserve is a winner. Super pure, fine, fragrant and haunting. Brilliant Pinot Noir.”
When he recently tasted the 2015 Creation Reserve Pinot Noir Andreas Larsson, the World’s Best Sommelier for 2007 and considered one of the world’s leading wine tasters, remarked on the resemblance with Burgundy, describing the wine as “quite layered” with “lovely freshness” and “lingering spices” – “an elegant example of Pinot Noir”.
Last but not least Giuseppe Lauria, editor-in-chief of the leading German wine publication, WEINWISSER, wrote: “I’m happy to tell you that some of your wines are amongst the best I tasted in South Africa.” He scored the 2014 Creation Art of Pinot Noir 18.5/20.